A carpet of grass makes an attractive backdrop for your home. Starting a lawn from seed is typically the most economical method of growing a lawn when compared to other methods, such as laying entire sheets of sod. Gardeners and landscapers can implement specific maintenance strategies to help the lawn seed establish itself into the lush, dense carpet of grass that everyone wants.
Amend the Soil
Gardeners can give their future lawn a head start by properly amending the soil. A spade or similar tool should be used to break up the soil to a depth of 6 inches, providing the future grass with an adequate growing area to develop a healthy and deep root system. Mixing in 2 inches aged compost also helps by raising the dirt's organic contents and helping it retain more moisture.
Choose the Right Date
Lawn seed germinates best when the outside temperature ranges between 60 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit. This generally makes the end of summer the ideal time to sow grass seeds, according to Oregon State University.
Stop Weed Seeds
The bare, fertile soil of a future lawn area is ideal not just for lawn seed germination, but also the invasion of various weeds. Landscapers can stop weed seeds in the soil from taking advantage of this perfect growing environment by treating the area with a preemergent herbicide containing the chemical siduron. This kills weed seeds without harming lawn seeds. When applying herbicides, landscapers should follow the specific product's instructions, since toxicity varies by product.
Providing too much or too little water is the most common reason for a freshly seeded lawn to fail to take root, according to Ohio State University. Light mists of water should be applied to the seeded soil several times a day to keep the soil perpetually moist, but not so much as to form puddles.
Wait to Mow
Gardeners should not mow the newly germinated lawn too early to avoid stressing the new plants. Wait until the grass has reached a height of 3 inches before mowing. Also, never trim off more than a third of the total height of the grass at once. If it is turfgrass that needs a very low final height, do gradual cuts once every three to four days until the grass is at the height that it needs to be.