Congratulations with your newly installed lawn. E.L.S. Landscaping has put together a few important tips for maintaining your new lawn. If you should have any questions after reading this information, please contact our office at (262) 376-8727.
REMEMBER TO BE PATIENT WITH YOUR NEW LAWN! The first four to eight week period, following lawn installation, is the most critical time for proper follow-up care. Lawn establishment failures are due to improper follow-up care during this critical time period than those due to improper seed selection, site preparation or seeding techniques. Please follow these simple instructions to achieve a dense, uniform and well-rooted lawn within your property.
WateringWater is the most important factor in establishing a lawn. After the initial deep soaking to a soil depth of 4” to 5”, follow-up irrigation should be done daily. Soil within the top ½” should be kept consistently moist. Initially this may require early morning, mid-day and evening watering; of about ¼” to ½” each time. A good way to determine how much water is being applied to the soil is to place a container (i.e. a coffee can) in the sprinkler’s path and time how long it takes to collect ½” of water. Daily irrigation (¼” to ½”) should be continued for 3 to 4 weeks. During hot or dry conditions, you may need to increase the watering during the early morning and evening watering time to maintain moisture in the soil surface.
SPECIAL NOTE: To maintain a uniform watering schedule, a water faucet timer should be used to set the various watering times throughout these critical weeks. Remember - keep a consistent moist environment for proper grass seed germination.
After four weeks, your new lawn still requires a minimum of 1” of water a week for continued growth. The watering schedule, at this point of establishment, can be changed to twice a week before 5:00 P.M. with a deep soaking of ½” or more of water. But during hot or dry conditions, watering should occur during early morning hours until the lawn matures.
FertilizingFertilizer applications are critical for the development of a healthy established turf. Following the application of starter fertilizer (13-25-12), that we applied at installation, new seedlings need ½ lb. of nitrogen per 1,000 sq. ft. every 4 weeks. This nitrogen level can be applied in various forms of fertilizer (19-3-7, 20-2-7, etc) and will result in a much healthier, thicker lawn than a lawn not fertilized. The fertility requirements provide the nutrients for growth and the ability to fight off diseases, weeds and insect infestation. This means, a fertilizing application should be applied to your new lawn areas at 4 weeks and at 8 weeks after the installation date. Once the lawn has been established, a yearly maintenance program should be set up to maintain a healthy, vital turf stand within your property.
SPECIAL NOTE: PLEASE do not apply a weed & feed to your new lawn. The weed & feed
combination is too strong and will burn or kill off the new lawn seedlings.
MowingThe first mowing of a new lawn should begin when the leaves reach a height of 3” to 3½”, removing only ⅓” of the leaf blade. After this initial mowing, your lawn should maintain the overall height of 3” throughout your property. Cutting the grass shorter than 2 ½” to 3” will sacrifice root penetration down into the soil, and weaken your lawn. The root system accommodates the height of the leaf blade so that the higher the cutting height the deeper the roots develop for a thicker, healthier lawn. A longer cutting height also gives the added advantages of conserving soil moisture and less area for weeds to penetrate into the lawn.
SPECIAL NOTE: Remember to keep your mower blades sharp at all times. Lawns cut with dull blades loose moisture more rapidly and are subject to disease problems, and become dried out turning pale brown in the summer sun.
Weed ControlThe seeding process inevitably exposes existing weed seeds within the soil. These weed seeds will germinate along with your new grass seed. Usually within the first few weeks, a combination of annual grasses and broadleaf weeds will appear. Although these weed type plants are unsightly, they can easily be eliminated in time. An application of liquid weed control or granular fertilizer (containing weed control) can be applied after your entire lawn has been mowed 8 to 10 times. Annual grass type weeds grow for 1 year, go to seed and die out. If you maintain a good fertilizing program and watering schedule, your turf should be thick enough the following year to eliminate the reappearance of annual grasses. A Crabgrass preventer should only be applied after your lawn has been in for a full year and no additional seeding is planned within 2 to 3 months prior to or following its application. The best time for crabgrass control is in mid May, or when Forsythia shrubs are just starting to bloom. The longer you can tolerate the weeds the better for the new grass seedlings to become established; unless the weeds are so bad
they are squeezing out grass areas throughout your property.
Traffic ControlTraffic should be restricted on a new lawn for at least a month. New seedlings are damaged by foot traffic.
SPECIAL NOTE: Set-up sprinklers and hoses in over-lapping water stations so you don’t have to walk over newly seeded lawn areas to move them.
PatiencePlease be patient with the process of starting a new lawn. Seeding is by far the best way to establishing a lawn for the long term. With proper care, as outlined above, you will achieve a healthy, enjoyable lawn for years to come.
Seasonal Calendar for Lawn CareMarch – April
September – October