The contractor has or will soon complete a construction project in your area and restore lawn areas disturbed during the project by using hydro-seed/mulch or grass seed. In order to help establish the new lawn, it is the property owners’ responsibility to maintain these areas as you did prior to the construction project. It is very important that you follow proper watering, mowing and weed control to establish the new lawn, particularly during dry weather. The following provides useful information in connection with care and maintenance of your newly seeded lawn.
One of the most common comments about newly seeded lawn areas is that weeds are sprouting and growing at a much faster rate than grass. This is typical since weed seeds are found in all soils and are also deposited by air currents. Weeds seem to come up overnight and require no watering while the various grass seeds take from 7 to 21 days to germinate. You are encouraged to read this lawn how-to, in particular noting the sections on watering and weed control, and following the recommended steps. Below is information about what you can expect from hydro-seed/mulch and some useful tips to assure a good start to your new lawn.
Please note that the contractor will return if additional seeding or other restoration steps may be necessary.
• Germination. Rye grasses – 7 days; Fescue – 14 days; Bluegrass – 21 days. The hydro-seed applied to your lawn is a combination of these three grasses.
• Watering. Light watering several times a day is desirable. Avoid heavy spraying which may wash away the seed and cause the soil to erode. Recommended watering is 3 times daily for 3 weeks.
• First Mowing. When grass has reached about 1 ½”, which may take from 3-4 weeks, depending on temperatures. If you mow too soon, the action of a mower blade may not only blow away grass seed but the soil as well.
• Fertilizers. Although the hydro-seed mixture already contains fertilizer, your lawn will benefit from another application in approximately 5 weeks following your first mowing. Fertilize the surrounding lawn as well.
• Lawn Use. Wait 8 to 10 weeks before using the lawn for a family picnic or a playground for the kids.
• Weed Killer. Weed seeds constantly settle on the lawn from air currents and are found in most all soils. Before applying commercial weed killers, wait until your lawn has been established 10-12 weeks or has had at least 7-8 cuttings. During this time, developing weeds should be pulled before they become established and begin to crowd out your new grass.
A more detailed Hydromulch care guide is on the back of this letter and information is available at any local area lawn and garden shop.
Thanks for your help in this effort to improve your neighborhood. If you have any questions or concerns regarding your lawn restoration as part of this project, contact the Engineering Department at (616) 456-3060.
Introduction to Hydromulch
Hydromulch seeding is one of the leading techniques used in establishing a healthy lawn. The major benefit to seeding with hydromulch is that the seed is placed in the proper environment to ensure vigorous germination and growth. Fertilizer mixed with the hydromulch provides nutrients needed for healthy plant development. The mulch helps retain moisture, shields the tender seed from the sun, and provides an instant, clean covering.
Watering your newly seeded lawn
Watering of your newly seeded lawn is vital to germination and growth of grass seedlings. Maximum root establishment and growth occur when underlying soil is moist. Keeping the soil moist begins at day one since germination will not start until moisture is present. The recommended amount of water per week is approximately 1". This is ideally accomplished by watering each section for 15 minutes starting at 10:00 a.m., 1:00 p.m., and 4:00 p.m. This may not always be possible, so the general rule of thumb is to keep the soil moist at all times without puddling or runoff occurring. The fate of your lawn now depends on you. Proper watering technique will result in a thick, healthy growing lawn. Negligence will result in a spotty, slow growing lawn giving a foothold to unsightly weeds.
Mowing new lawns
The first mowing of your lawn should take place when the grass reaches a height of 1 to 1 ½”. This should be 3-4 weeks after the seeding, depending on the climate. By maintaining a low height, you will encourage the slower growing Blue Grass varieties to take over and thicken up your lawn. Once the lawn is established, maintain a mowing height of 2 ½”.
Starter fertilizer was applied with the hydromulch to provide food for the growing seedlings. After 4-5 weeks, however, the active grass seedlings need another boost of nutrients in order to continue rapid growth. A fertilizer with balanced blend of Nitrogen (N), Phosphorus (P), and Potassium (K), should be applied. Examples include: 12-12-12 (N-P-K), or 20-10-10 (N-P-K).
Weed seeds are ever present in the soil and constantly settle on the lawn from air currents. Therefore, upon watering, weed seeds will germinate as well as grass seeds. Weeds can be controlled easily so there is no need to panic. Regular mowing at heights of 2-2 ½” will kill off many weeds. Of the remaining weeds there will be broadleaf weeds (dandelions) and grassy type weeds (crabgrass). Broadleaf weeds should be sprayed in the fall providing your lawn has been established 10-12 weeks or has had at least 7-8 cuttings. Crabgrass will die out after the first frost in the fall. However, the lawn should be treated with a pre-emergent crabgrass control in the following spring to stop the germination of new crabgrass.
(Information on Hydromulch care provided by a Grand Rapids area landscape management firm.)