Winter has just ended and it is the start of spring.
As you look around your yard, you notice there are missing patches of grass that make your yard look not so great.
So you decide to plant grass seed (or any of the other options) and grow them on your own.
The question arises, how do you take care of your new grass? To do so, water your lawn on the appropriate schedule, mow your grass when the time is appropriate, feed your grass, and take care of any weeds and bugs.
Read on to figure out where you might be missing out on your steps for keeping new grass.
Options for new grass
Before you get started on new grass, you should know you have a few options.
One of the hardest options, but the least expensive, is starting new grass by using grass seed.
You should typically be able to go to a local nursery or even a hardware store and purchase a bag of grass seed.
What will happen then is you take the grass seed home, spread the grass seed around your yard, and then make sure to water the seed on a regular basis so the soil and seeds don’t get dry.
According to ReddiSprinklersWichita.com:
New grass should be watered twice a day (or more under dryer conditions) to keep the top two inches of soil moist at all times. Water daily until all of the grass seeds have germinated, then it will be ready to begin a regular watering schedule.https://reddisprinklerswichita.com/blog/lawn/how-often-should-i-water-new-grass#:~:text=New%20grass%20should%20be%20watered,begin%20a%20regular%20watering%20schedule.
The hardest part of doing grass seed to is make sure your grass seed doesn’t go dry, especially after it has started to bud.
Once it has started to bud, if it gets dry, then it will almost immediately die.
And then it will seem like all your hard work has gone to waste.
So you will need to be pretty vigilant if you want your grass seed to grow.
You also have to worry about your seed blowing away in the wind.
Since typically the grass seed is going to go straight onto the dirt, it is more susceptible to the wind blowing.
But if you water your grass seed every day, the wind blowing the seed away might not be a big deal.
Grass sod is a little bit less work, but you have to move quickly.
It is also typically more pricing, since the company providing it has already done most of the work growing the grass for you.
Grass sod is going to be a little plot of dirt and grass where the grass has already started growing.
So at that point, you job is to maintain the grass.
When the grass sod is delivered to your house, you’ll have to work quickly, since the sod will probably be delivered on a pallet stacked one upon another.
If you can’t get to laying the sod right away (which I really recommend that you do), water the sod a few times a day to make sure that the grass doesn’t wither and die.
But I really recommend laying the sod as soon as you can.
Get the yard as level as you can, and then start working on spreading the grass sod out on the yard.
From there, it might take a bit of work to get it all spread out, but it should be as simple as taking the grass sod off of the pile and then place it in the yard on the right spot.
Once you have all the grass sod placed, then you need to make sure to water the lawn on a regular basis.
The basic idea behind a seed blanket is it’s a blanket that you lay down on your lawn that has grass seed in it.
The layers on the outside of the seeds keep the seed in place and also help to keep the grass seed moistened while it is growing.
Seed blankets address some of the issue that come about from grass seed.
You don’t have to worry as much about the grass seed blowing away in the wind since the seed is protected by the “blanket”.
You roll out the seed blanket on the ground, water it, and then the seed blanket should stay in the spot.
Another great option is a grass spray.
You attach the container of grass spray to your hose and then you spray around the yard all the areas you want grass.
It should be easy to tell where you have sprayed because you will see the green, wet patches of the grass spray.
This option would be good for your whole yard, but also patches around your yard.
At one property that we’ve owned, we lost the grass in our back yard for one reason or another (dogs running the same pattern every day and kids deciding they were going to try out matches in our yard).
We hired a company to come and spray our yard with grass spray and it ended up coming up easily as long as it was watered in a timely manner.
Water your lawn on the appropriate schedule
Depending on the kind of grass you are growing, the schedule may differ.
As mentioned previously, grass seed needs to be watered twice daily to keep the top two inches of the grass moist.
Otherwise, the grass seed is going to have too hard of a time growing the roots into the ground.
And, you’ll end up with dead and withered grass seed if you don’t keep it watered.
For grass sod, typically the roots are too short to take on too much water.
This is because the company providing the sod doesn’t want to waste too much of the sod.
So they give you just enough to get your yard going.
So avoid watering your grass sod too much.
For the first two weeks, you probably want to limit watering your lawn for 5-6 minutes for 6 times a day.
Hopefully, you have your watering system on a timer, otherwise, you could find yourself outside standing around a lot with your hose.
After two or three weeks, you can start to pare down the number of times you water each day.
After another week or two, take the watering time down another one.
Until eventually you only have to water only one or two times a week, just like the rest of the grass.
And make sure to check your sod by pulling on a corner every so often.
If the grass comes right up when you pull, then the roots haven’t established in the soil underneath, so keep watering.
If it doesn’t come up, the roots are getting established and you can start not watering as often.
Seed blankets/seed mat
How often you water your seed blanket/mat depends on the brand that you purchase.
But you are probably going to find you are doing much the same amount of watering that you are doing with grass sod.
Since the seed blanket/mat is grass seed within mulch and other things that will help the seed grow.
So start off by watering it for 5-6 minutes about 6 times a day.
And then start paring down after the first few weeks until you can seed that your seed blanket/mat has really established into growing seeds.
Make sure to look at the directions on the packaging so you are watering the appropriate amount.
Much like the seed blanket/mat, how often you water depends on the brand you are using.
The Hydro Mousse Liquid Lawn System suggests you water 2-3 times a day to keep the soil moist for the first month.
Then it should take an additional 30 days for the seeds to really settle in.
Mow your grass when the time is appropriate
The ultimate height for your grass is around 3-4 inches.
Once your grass has gotten to this height, you can probably start thinking about mowing it.
But keep in mind that you shouldn’t let your grass grow too high.
If it grows too high, then you will have to do more than just regular steps of mowing grass.
You see, it is not recommended that you cut your grass too low too quickly, or you could be killing your grass without even knowing it.
If you have let your grass grow more than 6-7 inches, then you need to consider mowing it a little bit at a time.
Never cut more than 1/3 of your grass at one time.
If you’ve let it grow to 7 inches, cut 2 inches off of the top, wait a few days after watering, then cut another 2 inches off.
If you manage your grass this way, you let the grass recover each time you mow it.
With new grass, it is much the same idea.
Once it gets over 3-4 inches, you should be good to give it a mow without worrying about killing the grass.
Feed your grass
When you are starting grass, they won’t have the nutrients established grass has.
You see, established grass has the ability to replenish the nutrients into the soil each time you mow the lawn since the grass you just cut will become fertilizer.
New grass won’t have this advantage, so it will be worth it to you to apply some feed/nutrients to your grass.
This includes Scotts Green Max Lawn Food.
Pay attention to the square footage that the grass food will cover and make sure you purchase enough grass food.
You will need to purchase a spreader as well.
Put the grass food into your spreader and pay attention to the number you should use on the spreader (which it should tell you on the bag of grass food).
Then walk around your new lawn and give it some of the nutrients it needs.
Take care of any weeds and bugs
It’s pretty natural for your new grass to have some weeds in it.
One city we lived in, the water for the lawns had weed seeds in it, so it was a matter of time before the weeds showed up.
Two options for handling the weeds are pulling them out by hand or using weed killer on them.
If you go the weed killer option, it is a good rule of thumb to wait until after at least 4 mowings before you treat the weeds with weed killer.
This gives the grass plenty of time to establish itself in the ground before the chemicals get near it.
And your grass is likely to last longer if you wait.
Pulling the weeds by hand could be a good option if you need a break from everyday life and do some good manual labor.
Plus you won’t have to worry about if the weed killer is going to kill your grass or not.
Grass can be real fickle, whatever option you are choosing.
So make sure to take care of your grass in the appropriate way.
Water your new grass according to the appropriate schedule, mow the new grass when it has gotten at least 4 inches high, give your grass some grass food to replenish nutrients, and take care of weeds either by manual labor or weed killer at 4 mowings.