Future Care (after germination): The lawn will be completely established after about 6-12 weeks but won't be fully mature for an entire season. Good things take time.
- Once the lawn is germinated, continue watering but less frequently for longer periods of time. Water 2 times a week so that the area gets about 1 inch of water total between rainfall and supplemental watering. Longer watering allows water to soak deep into the soil resulting in deeper root growth.
- Mulch can either be left to decompose, adding extra nitrogen fertilizer to your lawn, or removed with a pitch fork or rake (with wider teeth than leaf rake) when the grass is ready for the first mowing. Some mulch, like peat moss or paper mulch, is designed to remain on the soil so follow the instructions specific to the mulch you choose to use.
- Mow your lawn for the first time when it reaches a mowing height of about 3 inches. Only remove the top 1/3 of the grass (about 1 inch). Cutting the grass too short may allow weeds to compete for space and nutrients, weakening the establishing grass. Be sure to mow when the ground is dry and firm (not right after watering).
- For mowing once the lawn is completely established and after the first season, refer to the profile page of the blend or mix that you purchased for the ideal mowing height as each species is different.
- If weeds become present during the first season after planting, try to avoid applying herbicide until at least 6 weeks after the lawn has germinated (if this is your preferred weed control method). If applied too early and not carefully, the herbicide can kill the new grass.
- 4-8 weeks after seeding, start a regular fertilizer schedule to keep grass thick and looking swell. Apply once or twice a year during the season that your lawn is most actively growing. This is typically early or late spring and late summer.
- Spot seeding: Follow the instructions provided for planting a new lawn but at a smaller scale for filling in any bare spots. Be sure to choose the same mix or blend as the existing lawn. It is important to remove any debris or old grass from the patches and ensure that the areas you spot seed receive adequate water.
- Overseeding: This method is meant to fill in thin spots making your lawn thicker and healthier by crowding out weeds and increasing drought and heat tolerance. Before seeding, mow the lawn at the lowest setting and pick up any clippings. Rake through the existing grass to remove any dead stands or debris and soften up the soil. With overseeding, the seeding rate and the amount of seed you need will be lower than new seeding. Mulch is not required. Water daily or as needed to keep the lawn moist. Do not mow until the new seedlings reach your desired mowing height (about 3 inches) and keep traffic to a minimum while the new seeds establish. Considerations for when to plant and future care will be the same as for new seeding.