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Giving Your New Grass the Best Chance of Survival

by Kelly Richardson, All About Lawns Columnist

After years of ecological study and practice, one thing has become abundantly clear: to have a healthy, beautiful lawn, you have to do more than toss seed onto the ground. The survival of new grass, particularly in challenged growing regions, traditionally depends on a plan. And here are a few suggestions for creating yours.

How would you like to improve your lawn?
  • Make it greener
  • Eliminate patches
  • Less weeds
  • Make it thicker
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The Preliminaries: Setting the Groundwork for New Grass

Many experts believe the key to a healthy, lush lawn begins with soil. If you've ever tried to plant on deadpan earth, you may quickly agree. New grass typically loves soil that is loose--a quality that promotes proper drainage and breathability. The good news is that you can turn deadpan earth into breathable soil using a small garden tiller.

Grind up your proposed planting area and then cover with a fertile top soil, which can be found at your local home and garden center. Try to get at least a foot of depth to ensure that grass seeds have an appropriate resting depth from the surface.

The Follow-up: Optimizing Growing Conditions for New Grass

Avoid the desire to spread seed and relax. The proactive approach usually takes more effort, but you should be rewarded in the end. These are time-tested procedures for cultivating a lawn that lasts.

  • Watering. A liberal soaking early in the morning or late in the afternoon generally works best. Avoid overwatering, which can promote mold or slime.
  • Mowing. Set your mower on the highest setting to allow new grass the opportunity to gain ground. Thatching mowers can be ideal for returning nutrients to the soil.
  • Fertilizing. A new generation of fertilizers has emerged that are expressly formulated for budding grass. Weed and feed combos can accomplish two jobs at once.
  • Weeding. Stick to the traditional method of hand-pulling. This task can preserve as much desired grass as possible while removing unsightly weed sprouts.

With a little love, a little know-how, and a little luck, your new grass should grow into a manicured lawn in no time.

About the Author
Kelly Richardson has obsessive compulsive lawn disorder and is afflicted with the need to share his knowledge with the world. Kelly writes lawn columns for a variety of home and garden magazines and e-zines.

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