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How To Take Care Of Your New Lawn

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Lawn Grass Care After Planting

So you've planted your lawn and I bet you are already asking when is it going to be green? When oh when are my seeds going to germinate?

If you did everything right in planting your lawn -- soil test, fertilizers, proper grade, the correct lawn seed for your area, correct seeding and proper planting depth... Then you are on the right track to a beautiful lawn like in the picture here at the right.

Establishment Of Your New Lawn Grass

First -- don't stop watering your newly seeded area daily. For the seeds to germinate it takes WATER and TIME. Be patient -- For most seeds take anywhere from 7 days to 35 days to germinate IF conditions are right. The right conditions are generally warm temperatures in the soil (some warmth is needed even for cool season grasses) and the right moisture conditions.

Many people plant their lawn one week and then ask the next week ... "Why don't I have a lawn yet?" Just as when you were born, it generally took you around 9 months to "germinate" and pop out into the real world. So it is the same with a lawn grass, just requiring less time. The little living seeds must first decide that conditions (and time) is right to begin their growth process. Some grass seeds can last months or even years in the soil before beginning this process. And even after they do pop out of the ground (7 to 35 days), they are usually very little BABY plants. And as baby plants their root and leaf systems are not developed enough to handle severe stresses in the beginning. Just as when you were a baby... you needed to grow bigger with the right nutrients and water... so do baby grass plants need to grow bigger to survive all that you are going to ask of your lawn grass.

After anywhere from about 2 weeks to 2 months you should be able to get down on your hand and knees and see many of the germinating little grass plants of your particular grass species. Usually for most grasses they will be tiny needle like leaves sticking mostly strait up out of the soil. These little plants will be spread among the many weeds that also will have germinated.

Grass Seedlings From Seed

And NO... Most likely the majority of your weed seed were already present in your soil and were NOT brought sprouting into your world by the seed you just planted. But not to worry.

That's normal for grass lawns, and grasses for the most part have developed a tactic to crowd out the majority of those new weeds over time. One thing you should do is limit traffic on a new lawn as much as possible. Those baby grass plants don't really like much disturbing while they are trying to establish themselves and grow up!

After about 60-90 days these little plants will be big enough for you to start tromping your power mower over the tops of them so as to keep the aggressive (and usually bigger/stronger) weeds from wiping out your baby grass plants. In effect mowing provides for an equal playing field. Mowing also helps the grasses to start tillering and running, which is in their nature to do. Be sure that you set your mower the proper height for the particular lawn species you are planting.

Keep up the frequent watering until about 45-60 days after planting... By then your grass plants should be big enough to start stretching out the time between watering without harm. This is actually good as it makes the plants send their roots down deeper into the soil, instead of just the top few inches. This results in the plant being able to withstand more extremes in rainfall. The best watering schedule is to water deeply, 1-2 times a week during normal months.

Its now time to consider a second application of fertilizer to your lawn, depending on the particular lawn grass planted. And...... yes... you can now think about taking that vacation. Just be sure you have someone lined up to mow your lawn while you're gone, make sure the irrigation system works properly, and keep the local kids off of the grass until it becomes adult grass plants!

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