How to Make New Grass Grow Faster

Overview

Unlike mature turf, new lawns are fragile and need constant care and maintenance to ensure proper turf development. Improper lawn maintenance can cause new grass to linger in a fragile state for weeks. With the right care, homeowners can help their new grass grow faster to develop into the lush, dense lawn they want.

Step 1

Amend the soil before planting the grass, whether you're sowing grass seeds, inserting plugs or laying sod. Several inches of aged compost, mixed thoroughly into the soil, boost the soil's nutrient levels and help it retain moisture. Follow this with a lawn starter fertilizer to feed the developing grass and create fast, vigorous growth. Purdue University recommends a 16-22-8 starter fertilizer or a similar high-phosphorous product.

Step 2

Mulch the new lawn if you're starting it from seed. Mulch helps keep the soil from drying out and holds the dirt and seeds in place to ensure proper seed germination and growth, according to the University of Illinois. Scatter a thin layer--enough for a 50 percent coverage of the dirt--after sowing the seeds.

Step 3

Water the new lawn regularly. Provide frequent, daily irrigation for a new seed bed or freshly planted sod. Once the grass is established, decrease watering to once a week while applying enough water to soak the soil to a depth of 6 to 8 inches. This encourages deep root development for fast-growing grass that's resistant to drought.

Step 4

Avoid walking on the new grass for several weeks after sod-laying or the germination of the seeds. This can slow new grass growth by damaging the fragile grass shoots and developing roots.

Step 5

Fertilize the grass four to six weeks after germination for a newly seeded lawn, or six weeks after the laying of sod or the insertion of plugs, according to the University of California. This helps boost grass growth. The university recommends any standard lawn fertilizer, such as 16-8-8 turf fertilizer. Apply the fertilizer according to its labeled guidelines since potency varies by product.

Things You'll Need

  • Aged compost or other soil amendment
  • Lawn starter fertilizer
  • Mulch
  • Standard lawn fertilizer

References

  • "The Lawn Bible: How to Keep It Green, Groomed, and Growing Every Season of the Year"; David Mellor; 2003
  • "Lawns: Your Guide to to a Beautiful Yard"; Nick Christians, et al.; 2007
  • Purdue Extension and University of Illinois Extension: Establishing Turfgrass Areas from Seed
  • University of Illinois Extension: Planting a New Lawn
  • University of California: Lawn Care for New Lawns
Keywords: make grass grow, new lawn management, new lawn care

About this Author

Josh Duvauchelle is an editor and journalist with more than 10 years' experience. His work has appeared in various magazines, including "Honolulu Magazine," which has more paid subscribers than any other magazine in Hawaii. He graduated with honors from Trinity Western University, holding a Bachelor of Arts in professional communications, and earned a certificate in applied leadership and public affairs from the Laurentian Leadership Centre.