If your lawn has been recently hydroseeded there are a few items to keep in mind. We use a grass mix specially blended for the Tri-City climate. It contains a blend of Perennial Rye Grass, Kentucky Blue Grass, and a Chewing Fescue Grass. The Perennial Rye is a quick germinating seed (7-11 days) and provides as a nurse crop for the other two grasses. The Kentucky Blue is a full sun/part shade tolerant grass and the Chewing Fescue is a part to full shade tolerant grass (both germinate in 27-32 days). Germination occurs best for all the grasses when the over night temperatures are 50 degrees or above. It is important to maintain soil/hydroseed mulch moisture to help aid in the germination process. We recommend
2-3 water applications per day (a timed, automatic controller is useful in this process). Water up to the point of run-off and then stop the watering cycle. Refer to the Lawn Watering section above for more information. Fertilize the lawn every 30 days for the first 90 days to help get the lawn established. These fertilizations will help the grass out compete the weeds for nutrients/water and therefore naturally reducing the number of weeds present in your lawn. Refer to the Lawn Weeds section below for more information.
Lawn mowing will typically be required 8-10 days(sod) or 20 – 40 days(seed) following your lawn installation. Do not utilize a riding or excessively heavy mower during the first mowings. This will decrease the likelihood of pulling the sod from the soil surface and/or rutting of the grades due to ground moisture. Subsequent mowings should occur as required to maintain the turf at a height of 2″ and avoid the cutting of more than 1/3 of the blade height during any given cutting. Removal of the clippings is recommended. Please also note that the aesthetic appearance of your lawn will be improved by utilizing sharp mower blades (sharpened 3 – 4 times per season) and power edging every other visit.
Lawn fertilizer should be applied approximately 30 days after installation. A 18-3-6 or similar with a minimum of 40% water soluble nitrogen is recommended for this application. Subsequent to that application, your lawn will typically need 5 applications of fertilizer throughout the year, including the following fertilizer ratios: (1) March/April application (25-10-5 with iron). (2) May/June application (21-3-5 with slow release). (3) July/August application (21-3-5 with slow release). (4) September/October application (21-3-5 with slow release). (5) Early December (25-10-15 with iron). The fertilizer should be applied to dry turf (to avoid burning) by utilizing a broadcast-type spreader. Upon completion the fertilizer should be deeply watered-in and all hard surfaces should be cleaned (to avoid staining). Always follow package instructions.
Lawn weeds can be controlled by hand-pulling or the use of herbicide. Follow directions carefully or contact your professional lawn care company to apply the appropriate herbicide.
During the fall the excessive leaf accumulation on lawns may cause lawn stress due and/or thinning due to lack of sunlight, disease movement and excessive water accumulation. We recommend that the leaves are removed every 5-7 days during heavy leaf drop periods.
Aeration & Dethatching
Annual (dependant upon soil type) core aeration performed by a power aerator will promote healthier turf by increasing the drainage and reducing compaction. The dethatching of your lawn is recommended if the thatch build-up accumulates to 1/2″ or more. Both thatching and aeration machines are available rental equipment stores. Please note that to promote a thick stand of grass, over-seeding with a quality seed blend should follow aeration and/or thatching. The lawn seed should be applied at a rate of 4-6 pounds per 1,000 square feet, should be lightly raked into the soil and be lightly covered in peat moss to protect the seed bed.
Begin your watering program in late March to early April (depending upon the seasonal conditions). The reactivation of your irrigation system (if applicable) should include a complete inspection of the system, including: visually inspecting for leaks; verifying that the system is operating automatically from your controller; verifying that each of the heads are operating properly and that the required areas of coverage are being sprinkled adequately; establishing the initial season’s program for watering frequency and time.
New lawns (seed and/or sod) should receive watering 2 – 3 applications per day, or as required to maintain a moist seed bed throughout the establishment period. Once the lawns have become established, typically an application every 1 – 3 days will be sufficient. The watering time for each application should provide approximately 1-1.25″ of water per application (This can be tested by locating pie plates in lawn areas that will allow measurement of the volume of water being applied). The key is to provide deep watering without causing excessive run-off. This will allow less frequent water application, deep root development in your lawns and be less wasteful of water.
Your plantings and lawn need to be inspected regularly to identify excessive and/or dry areas. Seasonal watering adjustments (ie: due to rain, cooler/warmer temperatures etc) should be made to promote healthier plants and more efficient usage of our water resource. At the end of each season your irrigation system should be purged of water to protect the piping, valves and heads from freeze damage.