Spring is the season for new growth, and one of the things we all look forward to after a Wisconsin winter is the re-emergence of green lawns. Another thing we can almost guarantee in a Wisconsin spring is the need to repair and replant some areas of lawn that may have been damaged by plows or snow blowers over the winter.
If you are undertaking this project this year, remember that getting grass to grow and establish is a fairly straight-forward formula. There are three ingredients that are crucial for successfully growing grass, and all of them can be easily achieved.
Many grass seeds on the market today include a fertilizer component to help the grass seeds take root and flourish.
This is the component that’s most left to chance, depending on the weather, but once springtime comes, we usually have enough average sunlight to encourage grass seeds to grow.
This is the component that we, as lawn-owners, have the most direct control over. It is recommended to water a newly seeded lawn (or patch of lawn) daily for up to six weeks. It is best to water in the early morning or later in the day, avoiding the hours of direct sunlight which would evaporate the water and reduce its effectiveness.
As a landscaping contractor, the most common reason we see for new grass patches failing to thrive is not getting sufficient water.
Another concern that comes up with the new grass is new weeds. There will always be weed seeds incorporated in new patches of grass; however, once the grass is up and starts germinating, the weeds can be dealt with. Once the grass has germinated, an application of fertilizer and weed control can be added to start controlling the weeds.
Proper mowing can also help control weeds and encourage the grass to grow. Keeping the grass a little longer – 3” to 3.5” high – will shade the weed seeds from the sun, discouraging growth. Additionally, the grass needs the longer blade to most efficiently complete photosynthesis and grow consistently throughout the season.
Even following all grass-growing recommendations to the letter, it can take up to a year for grass seed to be fully established and grown in. So, the fourth ingredient in a successfully growing new grass might just be patience!