Starting a new lawn – Chapter Five of Five


We’ve come a long way.

Out with the bad, in with the good. We’ve tilled and raked and watered and planted. We’ve cleared and cleaned, and leveled. We’ve spread and fed but now it’s time to put the blanket on the baby and let it rest. It kind of goes without saying…this lawn is going to need a little time to settle in. So, here’s a few do’s and don’ts for your new lawn:

Don’t rush it

Your lawn needs time to settle in and work those roots nice and deep. That means minimal traffic at the very least.  So, for the next three weeks or so, make sure Rover plays in the back yard, keep the kids on a leash…er..wait-

Don’t mow

For at least ten days. The last thing we want is to pull up all our hard work and leave it in clumpy rows on the ground.

Do water

Excessive or insufficient watering is the most common cause of new lawn failure. Have a watering plan and keep a little flexibility in it. Water and monitor.

Watering Sod-

Water your new sod at least twice a day, including once midday. Keep the soil moist to a depth of 1 to 2 inches.  Check to make sure that soil does not stay saturated for long periods of time; otherwise the plants may not root.  Reduce watering frequency to every second or third day once lawn has begun new root growth (about two weeks).  After four weeks, a sodded lawn can survive for longer periods of time without water.

Watering Seed-

For newly seeded lawns, set sprinklers to mist the surface four times a day, beginning at 7 A.M. and finishing at 6 P.M.  Keep the seedbed moist, but not saturated, to a depth of 1- to 2-inches.  As seedlings grow to a height of 2-inches, reduce the frequency but increase the depth of watering.

Don’t fertilize

All that work on the lawn has shaken up the soil a bit. Give it about six weeks for everything to even out, then hit it with a light fertilization. From that point on, normal fertilization according to the type of grass you’ve planted should be fine.

In closing…

We hope this series on “Starting a new lawn” has been helpful and informative. Of course, when it comes to complete comprehensive lawn installation, there is plenty more to be discovered. For specific gardening tips or for more detailed information on lawn planting and care, consult your local lawn care professionals.


Are you joining us late and missed the beginning?

Visit Chapter One of How to Start a New Lawn.

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Bill Brown

Bill is the head of content creation for the LawnMowerPros Blog and DIY section. He’s been in the Outdoor Power Equipment Industry for years and he’s still learning new things everyday. You can often find him creating featured articles, DIY guides, videos, graphics and much more.