There are two prime times of the year when you should be keen to install your new lawn: early Spring and Fall. During these two seasons, it is natural for us to expect heavy rain and cooler temperatures. As opposed to Summer, when it gets too hot and the possibility of your newly planted grass seeds surviving would be stunted, cooler temperatures at about 50-60 degrees are the perfect conditions for seeds to germinate.
This means the grass seed will germinate properly without the risk of weeds overtaking your lawn and suffocating your new grass seed which tends to happen when the temperatures get too hot. As a result, now is the perfect time of the year here in Connecticut to have your lawn installed and here is the best way to do so.
Step 1: Create a Clean Surface by Removing Your Existing Lawn
The first step in preparing to install your lawn, is to create a clean surface. Remove old grass and weeds making sure to get deep to rid your current lawn of any roots. This step helps eliminate old grass and weeds from re-germinating in the area after you install your new lawn.
Step 2: Install Your New Top Soil
Next, you’re going to put down 3 to 4 inches of new top soil over the prepared area. Be sure to purchase quality top soil because that is an integral part of your new lawn installation. When spreading the top soil, make sure to use a grating rake so that the top soil is spread as even and level as possible eliminating any rocks or debris that may be in the soil and may affect the growth of your new lawn.
Step 3: Spreading the Seed and Fertilizer
Pick the grass seed that is best for your location. The most common and easiest grass seed to plant is a sun and shade mix. With this particular mix, you can plant it directly in the sunlight or in the shade and it will still germinate properly. The brand that we recommend and use for our customers is Lesco sun and shade mix. This could be purchased at most landscape supply stores like SiteOne Landscape Supply.
Use a seed spreader to spread the seed making for even coverage. Before spreading, familiarize yourself with how much seed you should put down by reading the instructions on the back of the seed’s packaging. A great rule of thumb is not to be too generous with the seed because this will cause the grass to suffocate and die as a result of being packed too closely together.
After you spread the grass seed put down starter fertilizer which will help the seed germinate and fertilize the soil. The fertilizer to use is the starter fertilizer by the brand Lesco which can also be purchased at SiteOne Landscape Supply. Again, read the instructions to ensure you put the correct amount down. Too much can burn out the lawn and kill the grass.
Here at Stumpers, a trick that we use to make sure that the seed germinates properly is we mix the seed into the soil. We do this by taking a spring rake or a leaf rake and flip it upside down and drag it lightly over the newly seeded area. This allows the seed and fertilizer to mix into the soil rather than sitting on top which will help the roots grow deeper and germinate faster.
Step 4: Spread Hay
Spreading hay will create a blanket effect for your lawn which will retain your lawn’s moisture. It’s important that you buy shredded hay and not hay bales; the shredded hay will disintegrate so you will never have to rake it up, whereas the hay bales don’t hold moisture in as well and you will eventually have to rake up the hay bales after the lawn germinates because it is too thick to disintegrate.
Step 5: Water the Newly Planted Lawn
The final step is extremely important to getting the ideal lawn. You need to water the newly planted area twice a day for 20 minutes in the morning and another 20 minutes in the evening consistently for the first 6 weeks. An irrigation system is really helpful for this part. If you don’t have an irrigation system, and because this can be a lot of work, our suggestion is to buy a timer that you can put on your water hose. It will automatically turn the water on and off during the times you want to water your lawn.
For more tips on installing new lawns, please feel free to give us a call and one of our lawn specialists will help you with the process.