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How To Care for Newly Seeded Grass

Most of the work in seeding your lawn is over. You have prepared the soil, applied a good starter fertilizer and chosen the right seed for the right climate and soil type. You have cast the seed evenly with a hopeful feeling in your heart, and now you're waiting for the seed to germinate. Transitioning a newly seeded lawn to a well-established one isn't difficult, but it will take some diligence when it comes to watering and preventing traffic on tender, germinating seeds. In due time, the new grass seeds will sprout and eventually turn into a lush, green lawn that will be the envy of your neighbors. In the meantime, however, there's still some work to be done.

Sprinkle the newly seeded area lightly with water by hand using the garden hose. Make certain that the water has moistened the top few inches of soil. If desired, spread a thin layer of straw mulch over the newly cast seeds to slow evaporation. Straw mulch will also help deter birds that stop by to feast on new grass seed.

Repeat hand-watering several times a day in warm, sunny weather unless the area is already receiving ample rainfall. Water the area only once a day on cooler, predominately cloudy days.

Keep the area free of traffic. If the lawn must be used, place a board or wooden plank over a small section of the newly seeded grass and walk on it. Remove the board when you're finished because the seeds need plenty of sunlight in order to germinate.

Repeat the daily watering regimen for about three weeks. When the grass seedlings reach two inches tall, reduce watering to either once daily or every other day.

Mow new grass that has reached a height of at least three inches tall. Make sure the blade on your mower is new or has recently been sharpened to prevent tender grass seedlings from being yanked up by the roots from a dull blade. Cut new grass to a height of two inches.

Resume normal traffic on the newly sprouted lawn after several mowings. A new lawn is vulnerable for the first month or so after sprouting and needs time to become established. Water regularly for the first month of two after the new grass has achieved a height of two inches.

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