After Hydro-seeding, traditional seeding, or sodding a new lawn or turfed area, it is very important to properly maintain the seed or sod during its germination or mending period. The seed germination for most blended grass seed mixes in this area (Western Pennsylvania) are 5-10 days, this will also be decided by the weather, temperature conditions, and soil temperatures. The ideal best condition for cool season turf to germinate is when the soil temperature is warm (60-65 degrees) and the overall weather conditions are 75 degrees and below. Cool season turf typically grows best under these conditions. That is why seeding in the Fall is the best time of the year. The ground temperature is warm from the Summer and the temperature during the days get warm and then rapidly cool off in the evening. Full germination could possibly take up to 5-8 weeks. This will require some diligent watering on your part.
The most important factor in this process is watering. The perfect scenario would be to water the seeded or sodded area to the point that it is moist. You do not want to water the seeded or sodded area 1 time very heavily. You want to water the area 2-3 times per day to get the soil moist. Once the area has begun to puddle stop watering until later and try not to water the lawn past 7pm. Having too much moisture on the area over night could potentially cause some problems like fungus or blight. This schedule should be maintained for 2 full weeks (7 days a week). On the 3rd week continue watering but not as frequent, maybe 1-2 times per day. You do not need to water if you have a steady rain for that specific day.
If you do not have your lawn fertilized by Woehler Landscaping LLC, and you have it treated by another company or you do it yourself do NOT apply any type of fertilizer for the first 4 weeks and never apply any kind of broad leaf weed control to the lawn for at least 6 weeks. The lawn will have a starter fertilizer applied the day the new lawn is installed. The active chemical for cool season turf that treats broad leaf weeds is 2-4D. This will retard the growth of the new seedlings and cause problems for the growth rate, potentially ruining the freshly seeded or sodded lawn.
Try to wait as long as possible for the first initial cutting, typically 4-6 weeks. For the first cutting make sure the lawn mower is set on the highest setting, make sure the blades are sharp, and try your best not to turn the mower around on the new turf. If you can walk to a sidewalk, driveway, or street do so for this initial cutting. The lawn will still be soft from the screened topsoil and the heavy amounts of watering that you have been doing for past 2-3 weeks. Sometimes this is unavoidable, but try your best to not turn the mower around in the newly seeded or sodded area. Also try to bag the grass for the first cutting, do not leave clumps of grass on the new seed or sod, this will cause burning and could potentially kill small areas of the lawn.
Please keep in mind that a seeded area anywhere from 1,000 sq. ft. - 20,000 sq. ft. could take up to 1 entire growing season to reach its fullest maturity level. You can expect to find bare spots throughout the lawn and sometimes this is normal. Over time the grass will fill in. Also you will more than likely have some broad leaf weeds grow. This is also normal. Do NOT apply any broad leaf weeded control as stated above. If you are re-seeding or sodding in the Fall do not worry about the weeds because after the first frost all the annual weeds such as crab-grass, dandelions, clover, and oxalis will all die. After the lawn is established it is highly recommended to incorporate a fertilizer complete with insecticide, weed control and lime. Woehler Landscaping LLC provides this service as well. (Check our fertilizer page) Please keep in mind seeding a new lawn takes time and patience. It requires the work of the contractor and the homeowner to receive optimum results.