Aerating and overseeding your yard annually will do wonders for its health and fullness. However, if you do not properly care for your lawn after treating it, all the hard work and time spent on seeding and aerating will have been a waste and your lawn will not reach its full potential.
Watering Schedule After Aeration & Seeding
Caring for your new grass seeds means keeping them 100% hydrated, 100% of the time! If the soil dries out, the seeds can then dry out and cause them to die. Keeping the seeds damp with a consistent water schedule is important for germination and healthy growth.
Your lawn needs to reach a height of at least 2" before you can slow down on watering. This means watering your newly seeded areas for a minimum of 15-20 minutes per spot about 2-3 times per day. Most seed will germinate within one to three weeks.
Dampness creates the perfect atmosphere for grass seed germination. However, the temperature of the soil and air are a major implication of a high-germination rate as well. The process requires an average daytime temperature in the upper 50s and lower 60s. Nighttime temperatures should go no lower than 40 degrees.
The best method for ensuring your new lawn gets the right amount of water is to set automatic timers on an irrigation or sprinkler system with a specific watering schedule. The best time of day to water your new grass is early in the morning or in the evening.
Proper Mowing Techniques for New Grass
Mowing your recently seeded lawn too soon can cause distress and your new grass may die. Check your lawn weekly and measure the height of the blades. Once your grass reaches a height of 3.5 inches, you may continue your regularly scheduled lawn maintenance, but proper technique is still critical.
Let your new turf grow stronger by not cutting it too short, this is an important lawn care technique not only for new grass, but also established lawns as well. A height of 3.5-4.5 inches is a good length to ensure your new grass grows a deep root system. Once established, this height can drop to 2-4 inches depending on your type of lawn.
For future mowing sessions, you should never mow more than one-third of the blade height. Keep your mower blades sharp during every cut; dull blades can harm the delicate new turf.
If your lawn is aerated prior to overseeding, make sure to leave the plugs on the lawn after aeration has occurred. Over the next two weeks, these plugs will break down and allow nutrients to get into the root system and strengthen the new grass.
Dealing With Weeds
If your lawn was bare before seeding, weeds may creep up, but don't worry! After proper care and two solid mowing sessions on your new grass, you can have a professional fertilization and weed control company take care of them. The new grass seed will eventually grow strong and healthy. With additional weekly mowing sessions and a regimented fertilization schedule, weeds will become virtually non-existent on your lawn. Hint, be sure to hire a company that uses 0.00% tested weed-free seed, like Wake Landscapes.
Reduce Foot Traffic & Keep the Lawn Clear
One of the best things you can do to care for areas of your lawn that require seeding is to stay off them! Reduce foot traffic and avoid disturbing the seed as much as possible while it establishes its roots. Keep the grass free from being smothered by debris, leaves, or sticks as much as possible. Accumulated matter can be detrimental to the health and growth of the new seed.