Lawn Care Guide
Newly Seeded Lawn
Proper care of your newly hydroseeded lawn is critical. During the germination and early growth stages it is imperative that the seeded areas be kept very moist. Frequent waterings of short duration is the best way to accomplish this. Set your sprinkler system as follows (reducing frequency according to weather conditions):
Water at 10am, 1pm, 4pm and 7pm for 10 minutes each interval. Cloudy, cool or rainy days will influence this schedule, as you might water at only 2 or 3 of these intervals or, if it is raining, not at all.
Water at 1pm and 4pm for 10 minutes each interval. By now your lawn will be up; germination for the most part has taken place. The goal during this stage is simply to make sure the lawn does not dry out. The reduced watering encourages the roots to grow deeper, seeking moisture. Again, weather conditions will influence frequency of watering.
Turn water off in preparation for first mowing at day 21. By this time the grass blades will be quite long and the soil very saturated. It will take several days with no water for the soil to dry enough for mowing.
At or around Day 21 you will mow your new lawn. Measure the height of the grass at this time and set the mower deck to cut at approximately 2/3 of this height. The clippings will be very wet and heavy. Empty the grass catcher frequently to ensure that the mower continues to pick up the clippings.
Caution: be careful as you make turns with your mower that the inside wheel does not skid – on a “virgin” lawn this will tear the grass out, leaving soil exposed.
Water 3, Dry 1, Mow
After the first mowing it is time to implement a cycle of watering, drying, and mowing. You can adapt the following example to suit your local conditions (amount of shade, weather conditions, soil type, etc.):
This 5 day cycle is a good place to start. Set your sprinkler system to water once a day (the cool of late evening or early morning are most desirable) for 30 to 40 minutes, depending on sprinkler head type (30 – 40 minutes for rotor, 10 – 20 minutes for spray). Allow the sprinklers to run on this schedule for 3 days. After the 3rd day turn the sprinklers off and allow the soil to dry out. Depending on your local conditions, including weather, this may take longer than 1 day. When the soil is hard enough to support the weight of your mower it is time to mow. Again, the mower deck should be set so that you cut no more than 1/3 of the total height of the grass. Then, after mowing, repeat the cycle.
Continuing Care & Maintenance
After a few mowings, your lawn will thicken up and form a turf. The caution given above (under “First Mowing”) will be less applicable as your lawn toughens up from repeated mowings. In general, it is best to water as little as necessary to maintain the healthy green color of the lawn. A lawn kept on the drier side will have a deeper root system; it will require less frequent fertilizing; and your water bill will be more manageable!
Fertilizing & PH Control
There are two types of fertilizer that should be used throughout the year. In late February to early March, Ammonia Sulfate 21-0-0 should be used. This is a fairly quick release fertilizer and will only last about 1 month. For the months of April ,July and September, Maquina 24-6-4 should be used. This is an extremely slow release fertilizer and can last up to 3 months. Both of these fertilizers are available from Shipp Brothers.
Your lawn should be tested periodically to ensure that there is proper PH balance. When PH has dropped below 7, granulated lime is necessary to bring the PH back up. Example: If your PH is 6, you will need 50lbs of lime per 1000sqft of lawn. May is usually the best time to apply lime.
Worm & Grub Control
Insecticide should be applied in late February to early March, and again in November. In some cases, an additional application may be needed in April. We recommend Sevin in granular form as it has proven to be the most effective against these pests. Sevin is also available from Shipp Brothers.
Do not apply any weed control products until the lawn has been mowed 7 – 10 times. At that time you can use Weed-Be-Gone or Weed ‘N Feed products, both of which are widely available.