How to care for your lawn following overseeding !
In order for grass seed to germinate it needs warmth and water and therefore in dry conditions it is necessary to water the lawn to get seed to germinate.
To get the existing grass to grow and recover after scarification moisture needs to be down at the roots about 2-3 inches deep.
When to water?
Watering a lawn is not a process that needs to be carried out every day! Water your lawn in the early evening or early morning as this is when least evaporation will occur (due to cool temperatures and low winds) and so results in greater water conservation. NEVER WATER IN BRIGHT SUNLIGHT AS THIS CAN SCORCH GRASS. Carry watering out 2/3 times per week in dry conditions with good equipment(see What equipment to use below)remember dry conditions will still persist in the soil with light showers as this type of rain does not penetrate.
How much water?
Make sure the soil is soaked in the root zone. This means soaking the soil to the depth that the grasses roots reach (typically 2-3 inches / 5-8cm). You can determine whether the water is reaching the lawn roots by applying the sprinkler then leaving alone for 24 hours before digging up a small core of turf and soil to see how far down the soil the water has reached. If the water hasn't reached the desired depth then extend the sprinkling time next time you water.
The intervals between watering will depend on a number of factors including temperature, rainfall and soil type. Typically 2-3 times per week is sufficient to with good equipment. Remember to try and keep your watering routine so that the lawn is watered thoroughly at longer intervals rather than watering sparsely at more frequent intervals, just like a heavy, prolonged shower.
What equipment to use?
DO NOT USE A HOSE OR WATERING CAN, as this will not put on enough water to reach roots and it may wash seeds away in localized areas. The best way is to use a sprinkler that you can leave in position to water slowly, giving a steady soaking. Output of sprinklers will vary, however a typical sprinkler will put on sufficient water if left in each spot for at least 1.5-2 hours. ALWAYS CHECK PENETRATION INTO SOIL BY DIGGING A SMALL CORE 24 HOURS AFTER WATERING.
Other Frequently Asked Questions
How long will it take to grow?
You will start to see germination in 14-28 days depending on water/rain and temperature. However It may take about 6 weeks for an inch of growth.
When can I mow?
If you have only had your lawn scarified then it is okay to cut immediately after if you wish.
If your lawn has been over-seeded the rate of germination will vary across the lawn. In addition the remaining grass will also grow resulting in a 'scraggy' appearance in the early stages. When the existing grass has grown long, and there is germination across most of the lawn, it is fine to cut on a high setting (so as to not cut grass that has just germinated). The lawn will start to thicken up after a few cuts and the cut height can be reduced to 1-1.5 inches.
Can I walk on it and allow pets on it?
Yes light use is fine, however it is best to stay off as much as possible. The key is not to scuff the lawn so ball games or the exercising of dogs is not advisable.
Can I compost the debris?
Yes, however moss does take a long time (around 6 months depending on conditions) to decompose.
When will you be back?
If we have carried the work out in the Spring we shall be back in around 6 weeks time to apply the Early Summer Treatment. This will be a fertilizer and weed killer treatment. The fertilizer shall give the new grass a boost. We shall also review if any further work needs to be done.
If the work is carried out in the Autumn we shall be back around November to apply the Autumn Treatment. This will be an Autumn fertilizer and moss spray. The treatment will help strengthen the grass and aid root development. We will then be back in January/February to apply the Winter treatment and review if any more week needs doing in the Spring. The grass will often look thin over winter but will thicken up after the Spring Treatment.
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