Below are our favorite tips to ensure a successful lawn renovation. This is our recommended process for giving your newly seeded lawn it’s best chance to thrive.
First of all, it’s important to note that by far, the best time of the year to seed is late August through early October. This is a narrow window so the goal is get this done correctly the first time.
Watering the Lawn:
Watering is the greatest determining factor when it comes to your new grass. Nearly all seeding failures are a result of insufficient water. Please take a look at our detailed watering instructions – if followed correctly, your new lawn will thrive.
Please water in the weeks and days leading up to your lawn renovation. Starting with thirsty soil will make it very difficult to keep your new seedlings moist enough to thrive. If the soil is too dry when your lawn is seeded, any water added to the soil after seeding will be quickly absorbed by the existing trees and grass leaving very little for your delicate new seeds. 1.5” – 2” of water per zone per week, including rain, is ideal.
If you do not have an irrigation system, please plan ahead by purchasing hoses, sprinklers, and timers so that you can easily keep up with the watering.
Mowing the Lawn:
Before we seed, we need the areas that will be seeded to be mowed very short. Please mow as short as your lawn mower will mow. It is okay to mow all the way down to the dirt. We will also need the clippings and other debris to be removed. We can do this for you, if needed. Why is this step so important?
- Seeds will germinate more quickly if they can be warmed by the sun and not shaded by existing grass.
- The lawn can’t be mowed for several weeks following seeding so it’s important that existing grass not shade out new seedlings too quickly.
- Removing most of the existing grass allows for better seed-to-soil contact.
Flagging your irrigation heads and valve boxes will prevent costly repairs to your system. Please also flag any other vulnerable obstacles in the lawn. If you need flags to mark your heads, we will gladly provide those to you.
An aerator is a special machine that punches thousands of little plugs in the lawn. Ideally the plugs are 2-3” deep. There are many benefits to aeration:
- Reduces soil compaction and lets oxygen into the soil. This allows grass roots to grow healthy and deep.
- Reduces runoff, allowing water and nutrients to be absorbed deeper into the soil.
Proper soil conditions are important for a successful aeration. The soil must not be too dry which is why watering before your lawn renovation is so important.
A verticutter is a special machine that puts shallow slits in the soil which allows for seed-to-soil contact. We verticut nearly every time we seed. We typically do this two times in opposite directions. Verticutting is often confused with aerating, which does not go deep enough into the soil to achieve the benefits of aeration.
We seed with a premium fescue blend perfectly suited for our climate and soil type. Our seed is certified 100% weed free. We apply the seed at the recommended rate of 7 lbs per 1000 sq ft for overseeding and 10 lbs per 1000 sq ft for bare dirt seeding. It’s very important not to apply too much seed because the roots can crowd each other leaving the lawn susceptible to drought and disease.
Edges & Corners:
We use special hand tools to ensure seed-to-soil contact in all areas where our verticutter can not access such as narrow areas, corners, and around trees.
We apply a specially formulated fertilizer to feed your young seedlings in their early life and ensure that their roots grow strong and deep.
A straw cover or seed mat will be recommended in some instances including bare-dirt areas. It will help keep the seeds warm and moist and greatly aids in a quick germination. It also helps with erosion and runoff, which bare dirt is prone.
Again, this is the most important part. Watering directions are below and we will leave you with detailed watering directions that must be followed. Almost all disappointment in new seeding can be directly linked to a lack of water.