Be sure to follow these instructions to get the best results from your Core/Slice Renovation.
Watering Instructions for the First 2-3 Weeks
You should begin watering your lawn as soon as possible after your renovation is complete. The new seed will require daily watering for the next 2-3 weeks. The top ¼”- ½” of soil should remain moist to ensure proper seed germination and seedling development. Daily watering, twice to three times a day, for approximately 5-15 minutes per area is generally what your lawn will need. However, since every lawn is different, you will have to determine whether or not you are watering adequately. Here are some general guidelines to follow.
- Once you start watering, DO NOT STOP! It is very important for the development of your new seed that the seed bed remain moist. If you allow the soil to dry out, you risk permanent damage to the new seedlings.
- Do not over water. Applying too much water can lead to runoff and puddling. Apply only enough water so that the soil stays moist.
- Make absolutely certain that water is getting to all areas of your lawn, regardless of the type of watering system you use. Many sprinklers easily miss corners and edges and these areas are particularly vulnerable to drying out faster than the center portion of your lawn. Also, areas near buildings dry out faster because of reflected heat. For these reasons, these areas will require special attention from you when watering. Water them by hand if necessary.
- Runoff may occur on some soils and sloped areas before the soil has been adequately moistened. To conserve water, prevent erosion, and insure adequate soak-in, turn off the water when runoff begins to occur. Wait 30 minutes to an hour, and then restart the watering on that area. Repeat this process, as necessary, until the soil is adequately moistened.
After your initial 2-3 week watering
If you followed the above instructions, your new seed should be germinating well, and the new seedlings should be establishing their initial roots within 2-3 weeks. Keep in mind that not all areas of the lawn will fill in at the same rate. Some areas will fill in faster than others. Factors such as temperature, rainfall, sun, shade, soil composition, and contour will affect the rate at which your lawn thickens. If some areas seem to be sluggish, concentrate some additional watering in these areas.
Your new lawn will require special care throughout the rest of the growing season to completely fill in. Most lawns will do well with 1 inch of water per week. This can be applied by watering 2 to 3 times a week, depending on natural precipitation. Now, deep watering is needed so that the underlying soil stays wet 3-4 inches down. Infrequent and deep watering will encourage the grass plants to establish their roots deeper in the soil. Deeply rooted grasses are better able to survive heat and drought stress because it has the ability to tap into subsurface moisture. During the rest of the growing season, deep and infrequent watering will replenish the “soil water bank” your new turf will need to survive. Refer to our information sheet, “The Key to a Beautiful Lawn is a Customer Who Cares”, for more information on maintenance after establishment.
When to Start Mowing
You will need to begin a regular mowing regimen once the lawn has grown up to 4”. This will usually occur after 3-4 weeks. Keep in mind that not all of the grass plants will grow at the same speed. Some areas may take 4-5 weeks while others will only take 2-3 weeks. You only need to mow the areas that have grown to 4”. Be sure not to use heavy garden equipment for at least the first four or five cuts, or as long as the new grass is young. You will cause irreparable damage to the new seedlings, especially on slopes where tractor tires can actually rip the grass out of the ground and cause major problems with soil compaction. For best results, use a light push mower until you are sure a garden tractor will not cause damage.
Cool season grasses (the type we planted in your lawn today) should be mowed at 3-3½ inches. Use a ruler to measure the height, as mower settings vary greatly and do not always reflect actual height of the grass in inches. Mowing new turf too close can cause stress, especially during warm fall days.
The most important rule of thumb to remember when mowing is to mow often enough so as never to remove more than one third (1/3) of the leaf area of the grass. For example, if you are mowing your tall fescue lawn at 3 inches, then you should mow before the lawn grows any taller than 4 ½ inches. Maintain a sharp mower blade. A dull blade can cause drought stress symptoms and disease problems. If you mow regularly, it is beneficial to leave the clippings down. Clippings will decompose and supply free fertilizer in the process. A mulching mower that cuts the clippings up finely is best. Only remove clippings if your lawn has grown excessively high or if your specialist has recommended doing so in your note.
When removing leaves, it is best to use a leaf blower rather than a rake. If a rake is all you have, use a flexible metal grass rake as opposed to a plastic grass rake. The metal rake is more flexible and will do less damage to the turf. Wet leaves can be especially tough, so remove leaves on a regular basis before they settle to the soil surface, and start to damage your turf. Be careful when using blowers, as these can cause damage if not used properly. When removing limbs and twigs, it is best to pick these up by hand. The bottom line is, be aware of what you are doing to your new turf.