HOW DO I ESTABLISH A NEW LAWN?
1. Prepare Soil. Lawn seed must come in contact with the soil in order to germinate.
2. Level the soil. Have soil test done, to see if any soil amendments are needed. It’s best NOT to add anything unless you’ve tested and know what is needed.
3. Add Soil Amendments. These include Nitrogen, Phosphorus, Potassium (potash) or other elements. Nitrogen, Phosphorus, Potassium (NPK) are the major nutrients in any balanced fertilizer. Agricultural lime (ground limestone) may be required East of the Mississippi
4. Work amendments into soil. Use a tiller to loosen to a depth of 6 in. Level the soil surface with a tractor blade or back side of lawn rake. Lightly create furrows with lawn rake.
5. Sow the seed. Set the seed spreader at proper setting (given on lawn seed container). As a rule, the smaller the seed, the lower the setting. (EXAMPLE: Bermuda Grass, small, 1, 2 or 3; Tall fescue, large, 6,7,8.) Use a broadcast or a drop spreader. Coverage of seed will be given on seed container. Use half the amount over entire area; then spread second half of seed spread at 90 degree angle to the first. Protect from rain/birds -- apply mulch lightly: straw (sterile if possible) or peat moss.
6. Water. Keep moist daily. You may need more than one watering a day, but without pooling or runoff. Mulch may dry out rapidly. If your lawn area is less than 2,000 sq. ft., a small hand-held sprayer will do. For larger lawns, use sprinklers.
CAN I WALK ON A NEWLY-SEEDED LAWN?
Please, NO TRAFFIC until first mowing.
WHEN SHOULD I MOW MY NEW LAWN THE FIRST TIME?
Mow when the new grass is at least 1 1/2 times but not more than 2 times recommended mowing height. May need a second
mowing rather quickly after the first. Once grass has grown 30% over recommended height again, it’s time to mow it.
HOW DO I RENOVATE MY LAWN?
1. Thoroughly kill all existing plants in the desired lawn area.
2. An herbicide such as RoundUp or similar gives total kill with very little residue. This type of herbicide will not harm trees and shrubs in the lawn area as long as they are not touched by the herbicide.
3. In one to three weeks, remove the dead plants by raking or use a de-thatcher to expose bare soil. Then prepare soil, sow seed and water.
WHEN SHOULD I FERTILIZE MY LAWN?
* North / Transition Zone (Zones 3-8)/ Cool Areas Use a spreader to apply a balanced fertilizer in late fall, about 2 weeks before your first fall frost. Use quantity recommended on the fertilizer container. Fertilize again in late winter to early spring (when forsythia blooms).
* South (Zones 9-10)/ Warm Areas Use a spreader to apply a balanced fertilizer high in Nitrogen (example: 20-10-10) in early to mid-spring, as grass begins its growth. Use quantity recommended on the fertilizer container. Apply fertilizer again 4 to 6 weeks after the first application, but not later in the season.
HOW DO I FIX BARE PATCHES IN MY LAWN?
Use an herbicide to kill all plants. Scratch up the soil surface with a rake. Use about half the quantity of seed recommended for a new lawn. Keep moist, and mulch for best results.
WHEN SHOULD I PLANT LAWN SEED?
* North Plant in spring or fall, when soil is naturally moist, and day temperatures reach 55 degrees F. / 40 degrees F. night. Most rapid growth occurs spring, fall. Plants stop growing during hot summer.
* South Plant in mid to late spring, when day temperatures reach 70 degrees F. / 50 degrees F. night. Most rapid growth occurs later spring to late summer. Southern grasses are dormant in winter.
HOW LONG UNTIL LAWN SEED GERMINATES?
The germination time depends on variety. Here are some common lawn grasses and their average days to germination. Bahia Grass, 21-28 days; Bermudagrass, 14-20 days; Centipede Grass, 14-20 days; KY Bluegrass, 20-30 days; Tall Fescue, 5-12 days.
WHEN SHOULD I WATER MY LAWN?
* NORTH: At least one inch of water per week while they are actively growing (spring-fall).
* SOUTH: at least one inch of water per week during active growth season (spring-summer).
AT WHAT HEIGHT SHOULD I MOW?
Mowing height varies based on the type of lawn grass. Here are the recommended heights (in inches) for the following common types of lawns.
* Bahia Grass, 2 - 3 in.
* Bermuda Grass, 1/2 - 1 1/2 in.
* Centipede Grass, 1 - 2 in.
* Creeping Fescue, 1 - 2 in.
* Tall Fescue, 2 - 3 in.
* KY Bluegrass, 2 - 3 in.
* Perennial Ryegrass, 1 1/2 - 2 in.
NEVER MOW OFF MORE THAN 30% OF THE RECOMMENDED GROWING HEIGHT AT ANY ONE TIME.
MUST I CATCH OR RAKE UP MY LAWN CLIPPINGS?
If you mow at the right time (less that 30% of leaf length at once), you won’t need to collect or remove your lawn clippings. This saves a lot of work, and allows your lawn to receive one of nature’s best fertilizers as you mow -- the lawn clippings release nitrogen back to the grass plants.
CAN I RECYCLE MY LAWN CLIPPINGS?
Makes excellent compost UNLESS grass clippings have herbicide residue.
WHAT IS THATCH?
Thatch is the term used to describe the build-up of dead plant parts between soil and surface. Thatch only occurs with spreading types of grass, such as Bermuda Grass and bluegrasses. It's NOT always a problem. But a very thick build-up of thatch, over a period of years, can prevent water from penetrating to roots. Use a thatching rake with thin tines. Drag through grass to loosen thatch from healthy grass roots. Then rake and compost.
WHAT IS THE ""TRANSITION-ZONE""?
The Transition Zone is an imaginary section running midway through the U.S., where temperatures fluctuate greatly all year round. In these changeable climates, a blend of turf-type tall fescue grasses (Four Crowns) performs well. Click here to go to Zone Map.
WHAT AREAS ARE ""TROPICAL""?
""Tropical"" areas receive no freezing temperatures: south Florida, Gulf Coast Texas, and Southern California (Zones 9 and 10). Zone 9 may occasionally get light frost.
WHAT AREAS ARE ""SOUTHERN""?
""Southern"" areas have mild winter temperatures (minimum 20 to 30 degrees F.) combined with extremely hot, dry summer conditions.