Caring for your lawn after installation
Planting a new lawn is a huge task so it is best to do the job in stages. Start this process by re-doing the worst or most visible unsightly lawn areas, and then make plans to tackle the remaining areas the following year.
Also think of starting with smaller sections instead of the entire lawn to keep the job manageable. However, whether you plant a new lawn in stages or all at once, you will need to take the following steps:
Step 1: Remove Old Lawn
Remove any poor-quality turf, which can be accomplished through several methods including solarisation, heavy mulches, using a hoe or sod cutter, and herbicides.
Step 2: Fix Grade Problems
Before adding amendments to the soil, fix any existing grade problems. Although grading often requires help from a landscaping contractor with heavy equipment, you can fix minor problems yourself with a landscaping rake.
Step 3: Amend the Soil
This is your best opportunity to add amendments such as fertiliser, organic matter, and lime or sulphur. Use a soil test to determine the best amendments for your particular soil. Use a power tiller to work amendments, including fertiliser and organic matter, into the soil; then use a landscaping rake to level.
Step 4: Rake Smooth and Firm
Rake the area for replanting until it is smooth. Next, water the ground and check for puddles. Allow the soil time to dry adequately, and then fill the depressions with soil from higher spots. To foster adequate soil structure, roll the prepared soil to provide a firmer base. If seeds are planted in soil that is too loose, the seeds generally end up too deep and may die before reaching the surface. Complete this step by thoroughly watering the area to a depth of 5 or 6 inches two days before planting.
Step 5: Plant Your New Lawn
It is finally time to plant your new lawn! There are four methods to planting a new lawn: sod, seed, sprigs, and plugs. Each method requires different preparation and lawn installation techniques.
Step 6: Caring for Your New Lawn
You have now put a lot of work into creating a new lawn, so don’t forget the most important step. Plan for watering needs before you plant your lawn. Insufficient water and overwatering are the leading causes of new-lawn failure. Take precautions to prevent damage. Minimise play and foot traffic on new lawns for at least three weeks. Do not fertilise new lawns for at least six weeks. Thereafter, apply a light fertilisation of ½-pound nitrogen per 1,000 square feet.