SEEDED NEW LAWNS
Seeding a new lawn gives you more of a 'custom fit'
Most of the
new lawns we installed over the years fell into the
category. In these cases, we removed the old lawn due to thick thatch,
severe insect damage, the presence of undesirable weeds and grasses or poor
Many of the lawns we renovated were planted before major advances were made
in grass development and breeding. Major university advances have brought
about improved varieties of grass that often have insect or disease
resistance, as well as improved growing characteristics. Therefore,
performing a total lawn renovation allows the opportunity to
introduce improved varieties of turfgrass, just like we plant in the lawns
of new homes.
Once an old lawn is removed, the next step is to fill in holes and low
spots with topsoil. We then apply lime and two types of fertilizer --
one fertilizer to get the lawn started, and the other to keep it growing
for the next 8 weeks. Next we sow one of our premium grass seed
mixtures and mulch the lawn with straw or mushroom manure. Mushroom
manure is the better choice since it is best at promoting seed
germination, provides organic matter, discourages birds and doesn't
introduce as many weed seeds as straw. It also doesn't blow
around like straw invariably will.
of the lawns we renovated
in September 1999
SEEDING A NEW
Whether your lawn is classified as a
or brand new, the
process is basically the same. Preparing the lawn for seeding:
- Thatch - If the
thatch layer is
thicker than 1/2-inch it's usually a good idea to use a sod
cutter and strip off the old lawn. Good "seed to soil" contact
grows seed the best!
- Weeds - If there's coarse
grass mixed with desirable grasses, or a severe
weed problem, you
should consider spraying the lawn area with glyphosate one week
prior to sod-cutting and other renovation procedures. Read and
follow the Label instructions.
- Grading - High spots will
need "cut" and low spots need to be "filled" with
finished grade should slope slightly in order to channel water
run-off away from the house and prevent puddling.
3 tons of Topsoil
Three tons of shredded &
screened topsoil is enough to cover 2,000 square feet with a thin
layer of soil. Bumpier lawns will require 2 tons per 1,000 square
feet (or more) topsoil. Topsoil is easiest to shovel off a hard
surface, like a paved driveway, with a flat scoop. Cover your pile
to keep it dry if you can't get it all spread before a chance of
Grading a new Lawn
and stones can be leveled with
the back of the rake
Raw topsoil full
of clumps and stones needs to be raked out
with the tines of a steel rake
applications of lime and fertilizer
- Fertilizer - Apply
lime and fertilizer
according to soil test recommendations. Generally speaking, newly seeded lawns
do best with a "starter" fertilizer high in phosphorus.
- Soil pH - Depending on
what area the lawn is located, you may need to apply products to
adjust the pH of the soil. In Pennsylvania most lawn soil calls for an
application of lime.
- Seed mix - Tailor your
seed mix to sunlight conditions (sun or shade) and (warm season
or cool season) region. Apply the seed evenly at the recommended
seeding rate. Buy the best quality seed available and seed at
the right time of year (early spring or early fall).
- Sod - For an "instant
lawn" you might want to consider using sod. Most grass
varieties (Kentucky Bluegrass) used in Pennsylvania sod need a
sunny exposure, and generally require more annual
than ryegrass and fescue seed mixes.
- Mulch - Lightly cover
grass seed with mushroom manure, clean straw or a recycled paper pellet
product. Hydroseeding is another alternative.
- Watering - Keep the
surface of the soil
washing out the grass seed. Mow when the new grass reaches
mowing height. Spot-seed any bare or thin areas after 3 to 4
weeks have passed.
- Irrigation systems -
Prior to installing a new lawn, or while renovating an old lawn,
is the time to consider adding an automatic
Ready for Water!
This new lawn has been mulched with mushroom
manure and is ready for watering. New lawns should be kept moist to
encourage good seed germination.
sodding a lawn