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New Lawn Help

Posted by hopelesslawn Buffalo (My Page) on
Sun, Sep 15, 13 at 23:43

I have tried seeding a new lawn several times now, and each time run into the same issues. I use the Scotts Heat and Drought brand seeds.

1. When the lawn starts to grow, I also see something else growing with it. I am not sure if it is a weed or not. It is a tiny little plant with two leafs on it. Sort of look like a two blade airplane propeller. It does not grow as fast as the lawn and I can pluck it out of the ground easily. Should I be concern about it? Should I try to pluck all of them? See attach picture. It is mostly located in the center and the lower left corner of the picture.

2. Another vegetation that grows with the grass, is what appears to look like a strand of grass but is not. It is stiffer than grass and grows taller than grass. It's top turns into a a leaf that is a bit wider than a strand of grass. These appear mostly near the top of the photo I have attached

2. I had tried my best to kill all the weed before starting the new lawn, but weeds still tend to still leave. So it thrives when I start watering thew new lawn. How can I manage the weed now the the lawn is starting to grow?

4. Usually after a 4-6 weeks I notice the lawn starts turning brown. The grass itself would turn brown at the tip and work it's way down over the new few weeks and eventually encompass the whole grass. It does not matter if I start the lawn in early spring, summer, or early fall. it all ends up this way. I water the lawn twice a day (each time for about 5-10 min), once in the morning and once in the evening. Eventually the brown grass looks like it is burnt and looks grey. Am I watering too much / too less? What is causing it to turn brown?

5. There seems to be dead spots on my lawn. No matter much much grass seed I lay down in the area, or how much I water it, the area does not grow. Everything around it will grown but not this area. Same amount of sun is in the area as is with the rest of the lawn.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: New Lawn Help

If you still have the bag, can you find the guaranteed analysis tag and list the seed types. That would be helpful in identifying your issue.

Is this area in full sun? If not the grass is going to really struggle. You need a shade type grass for shady areas.

Weeds come into a thin lawn more easily than a dense lawn. So you are correct in seeding to increase the density.

Weeds come into a moist soil more easily because they must have continual moisture to germinate.

Weeds come into a lawn mowed low more easily because they need sunlight on the new seedlings to grow.

Once your grass is up to 2 inches high, you should back off on watering frequency. Instead of watering a little every day, move toward watering a lot but only once every few days. I'm thinking you should move all the way to a full inch as measured by several cat food or tuna cans placed around the yard. Do that one time and wait for the grass to tell you it is drying out. As soon as you see spots where the color changes to slightly darker green or you see blades folding together, then immediately water a full inch again. As you do that the interval between watering will stretch out so that you will soon be watering only once a month. When the weather warms next spring, you will move to once every 3 weeks, then 3 weeks, and finally once a week in the hottest heat of summer. Every situation is slightly different, so watch your lawn. If it doesn't need a full inch every month, then back off on that to 3/4 or 1/2 inch. Whatever you do, don't get all the way back to watering every day. That is a bad idea for many reasons. One is you can get a disease that rots your roots and gives you what you have now. If you only water infrequently, that fungal disease is not likely to happen.

When your new grass is 5 inches high, mow it back to your mower's highest setting.

RE: New Lawn Help

"When your new grass is 5 inches high, mow it back to your mower's highest setting. "

This is incorrect. New grass should be cut when it reaches 3 inches, not 5. Cutting encourages thickening, tillering and establishment. At 5 inches new grass will lay down on itself, not something you want to happen.

RE: New Lawn Help

Thanks tiemco!

RE: New Lawn Help

The bags of seed contains:
50% w/w Seed (80% Kentucky blue grass), 20% Turf-type (perennial ryegrass), 48% w/w Limestone powder and 2% Zebra Grass seeding coating material

Guaranteed minimum Analysis:
Starch-g-poly (2 propenamide-co-2propenoic acid)
potassium salt.........1.76%
Maximum Moisture.....7.5%

During the summer months, the lawn is in the sun > 12hrs.
Around this time of year, it is more like 11hrs.

Is it safe to cut the lawn at 3" because the grass still looks thin. Can I step on it yet?

What should I do about those leafy weed (?). I tried plucking it (with my hands) today but found it impossible to pluck it without pulling out new grass as well.

RE: New Lawn Help

Thanks for the additional information.

I would leave the leafy weeds alone until you have a little more sturdy grass. This is going to be 100% KBG, so any damage you might do later will recover quickly. Shouldn't be any damage, though.

I don't see the problem weeds I was expecting to see in your guaranteed analysis, so that's good.

As to your original weed question, there's no way now to know what it is. Wait until it matures. Preferably take a picture of it when it has a seed head on it. And preferably take that picture in the shade so we can see what we're looking at.

As to your original browning issue - I believe you are continuing to water like it was new seed long after the grass is up. Once you have 80% germination of the seed you can start to reduce the frequency and increase the duration of watering. That's what I was referring to in my earlier reply to you.

RE: New Lawn Help

Yes, it's safe to walk on 3 inch seedlings for mowing, but be careful when making turns with your mower as that action can uproot them. Set your mower height to 2 inches, and use the bag attachment.

RE: New Lawn Help

Thanks for all the advice!!

RE: New Lawn Help

tiemco, I assume since you said it's safe to walk on 3 inch seedlings for mowing that you are referring to a push mower. What about a riding mower? I have 20,000 square feet of new seed on the ground which is a bit much to push. Is it going to be safe for a rider at 3 inches?

RE: New Lawn Help

Sod farms grow acres of grass, no way they are using push mowers. It should be fine, just be careful with the turns. Also mow when the grass/soil is dry, then water the next day.

RE: New Lawn Help

Thank you sir!

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