Unless you are a professional landscaper, you might not know what is considered a “new lawn”.
Sometimes a new lawn is the result of planting fresh or unestablished grass seed or sod in bare ground previously devoid of any green plant life. Other times it could be replacing the existing lawn that has become discolored or overgrown with weeds, diseased or infested.
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Apart from deterioration, area of the property, or having too many landscaping plants, there are numerous reasons why homeowners may need to replace their current lawn.
New lawns are advantageous due to the fact that they have a clean slate and can therefore be easily established to your liking.
This article will go into a few things to keep in mind while establishing and maintaining a new lawn.
What is considered an established lawn?
Knowing how to tell if a lawn is established is one of the first steps in determining how frequently you need to mow.
Established lawns usually have thicker, more evenly distributed grasses with a healthy green color and no bare patches.
A complete ground cover of grass also signals that your lawn has reached a good level of maturity and can tolerate frequent mowing.
However, drought and heavy traffic can cause grass to thin out and lose color, despite being coddled with plenty of water.
What is considered a new lawn?
The opposite of established grass is immature grass.
New lawns are often thin and may resemble newly seeded areas more than well-developed lawns.
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The grass may be sparse, the blades may be narrow, and the ground covered in patches.
Oftentimes they lack the thick, lush grasses that older lawns exhibit. The grass may grow in clumps instead of spreading out evenly across the entire lawn.
This can cause it to become susceptible to disease, since new grass tends to lack the resistance that older lawns have.
New grass is also very susceptible to getting trampled by walkers or pets, since they have not had time to develop a deep root system and will not be able to withstand consistent heavy activity.
How long does a new lawn take to establish?
A new lawn takes around 1 to 3 weeks on average to establish.
Again, this can vary greatly depending on the amount of traffic, drought, and chemical usage. Under optimal conditions, a new lawn can achieve full maturity within 7 days.
With a great deal of stress factors, it could take up to a month to achieve full maturity.
Of course, the more stressful the conditions, the longer it will take for a new lawn to become established.
Bare spots and irregular seedling appearance indicate a lack of full maturity.
While newly manicured lawns require consistent soil moisture, initial growth can be a lot more intense and happen underground where you can’t see it.
When to put in a new lawn
To give your lawn a more attractive appearance, consider putting in a new lawn or seed.
Plant your new grass slightly before or after the weather has cooled down, around spring or fall.
This gives the grass a chance to establish itself before the weather is at its hottest and driest and thus promotes healthy growth.
Keep in mind that some grass seeds may not be viable in your area.
Rather, you may want to consider sod, which is already well established and will be able to survive without the extensive care your new lawn requires.
Perennial grasses are a great choice for new lawns, but in order to get the most out of them, you will have to provide good soil and water maintenance.
Can you walk on the new lawn?
After sodding a lawn, you often don’t want to walk on it so as not to compact the soil and damage it.
If you must walk on your new lawn, take care to avoid stepping in the same place repeatedly and keep pets off it so that you don’t cause any damage.
It’s best for the first few weeks after installing a new lawn to keep your activity off the area, walking around it instead of directly on top of it.
Avoid the urge to run on it or shoot baskets, as this can uproot the grass seedlings or sprouts and compromise its quality.
A baseline of 8 weeks is usually recommended before any type of rough activity can take place in a newly seeded lawn.
Can you overseed a new lawn?
Your lawn may have been kept too wet or too dry at times, making it difficult for the grass to grow.
Bad soil conditions can quickly ruin your brand new lawn.
If the grass is damaged from these conditions, you may wish to consider overseeding it.
Overseeding is the process of adding new grass types after a sprout has started showing resilience.
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The mixture of seeds helps ensure that all parts of the lawn grow at a similar rate and establishes itself more evenly throughout the entire area.
And while you can use a variety of grasses, try to stick to one that is already existing in your yard, as this will help them all grow in unison.
Why does grass grow unevenly in a newly seeded lawn?
There may be some areas that get too much moisture than other areas.
This can happen because one side of your lawn has more sun exposure and a nearby tree or shrub blocks that solar radiation from reaching the grass.
Uneven ground can also cause water to pool in one area and not drain properly, which will cause algae, moss and fungus to grow in that area.
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Eventually, the grass may become yellow or die off due to the excessive moisture and poor drainage.
However, you can also end up with uneven growth on your lawn for a variety of other reasons.
Sometimes, however, it is an indication that you have made an error in your soil nutrient selection or soil pH.
Some grasses are more sensitive to these growing conditions than others, so if you have a variety of different types in an area, you may want to consider how they react to varying soils and fertilizers.
Can you scarify a new lawn?
Since your brand new lawn is so tender and vulnerable, you should avoid any direct tilling, scarifying or cultivating of the soil.
The mechanical processes can cause injury to the grass roots and expose them to sunlight, drying them out and causing the grass to die.
Scarification is a mechanical process that breaks up and loosens the soil, undergrowth, decaying matter and moss that build up over time.
However, it is likely to harm the sward when it is new and delicate.
Due to repeated fiddling with the lawn and raking, you may be creating too much shock for the newly turfed or seeded lawn to handle.
If you’re looking to install a new turf lawn, there are many things to consider before starting.
You’ll need to make sure that your soil is healthy enough to support the growth of grass, that you’ve selected the right kind of grass for your climate and that you’ve chosen the right fertilizer for your lawn.
A new lawn can be installed by simply seeding or sod. The blades tend to look narrower and spread unevenly.
It takes about a week to a month for the grass to grow prominent shoots and roots.
You should try to avoid walking on it until it becomes established, otherwise you risk damaging it.
You should wait until the grass has developed roots and is strong enough to handle foot traffic.