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Common Lawn Seeding Problems in Maryland

by Gabby Hyman, All About Lawns Columnist

The story is all too familiar for many Maryland residents. They choose the right turf grass variety for the region, have their soil chemistry tested and adjusted correctly, seed with care and, come summertime, their lawns look terrible. The common causes are the ways homeowners water and mow their lawns and how efficiently they treat competing weeds and grass pests.

If you stop watering seeds that have just begun to establish themselves, you can really damage your new lawn. For example, Kentucky bluegrass has been known to be a slow germinating seed in Maryland, so it will require plenty of watering in an establishment regimen. But varieties of tall fescue and ryegrass can show maturity faster, making homeowners think it's time to cut back on moisture.
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The real problem is that many grass varieties come in blends and while your lawn looks well established, some of the seeds may still need watering. On the other hand, if there is a steady spring rainfall, you may have too much water on the lawn.  Let common sense be your guide. If you have pooling and excessive run-off, cut back on your watering, lest you end up with soil erosion and nutrient depletion.

Other Lawn Establishment Woes

When you begin mowing your new lawn, make sure your mower blades are sharp and won't rip out new seedlings. According to the University of Maryland Home and Garden Information Center, Kentucky bluegrass and fine fescue should not be cut lower than a total height of 2½ to 3 inches.

Only after you mow the new lawn a few times should you consider using weed control applications. Before then, if you really want the lawn to establish itself properly, you should hand-pull as many weeds as you can. Be sure to read labels carefully, or ask at your lawn care center to make sure the herbicide you're considering is kind to establishing lawns.


About the Author
Gabby Hyman has created online strategies and written content for Fortune 500 companies including eToys,, Siebel Systems, Microsoft Encarta, Avaya, and Nissan UK.

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