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Springing for a New Lawn? Brush Up on the Basics

by Joe Cooper, All About Lawns Columnist

In many regions, the late summer and early fall seasons are the best time to plant new lawns. In drier, warmer climates, spring can be a great time too. After a little research, you'll find that prepping for your new lawn is vitally important. Here are some basic steps to planting a new lawn:

How would you like to improve your lawn?
  • Make it greener
  • Eliminate patches
  • Less weeds
  • Make it thicker
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Do the right prep.

Building a house is just as much contemplation as construction. Doing the right planning will help make your new lawn project successful and long-lasting. Here are a few basics:

  • Conduct a simple soil test. You can find testing kits at your local greenhouse or hardware stores, and this will help you determine what nutrients your new lawn will need to grow and be healthy.
  • Rid your yard of weeds. Weeds are a common threat to all lawns, especially new ones.
  • Feed your soil the right meal. Use your soil test results to determine the fertilizer with the best nutrients for your soil.

Till away.

Tilling your soil around four-to-six inches deep helps ensure all the important nutrients make it below the surface.

Choose the right lawn.

There are many types of lawn, but a few old standards that are most popular for their resilience and appearance alike:

  • For sun: Kentucky bluegrass
  • For shade: Tall fescue

Apply the lawn seed correctly.

Your landscaper, greenhouse, or local hardware store will have a seed application table that will guide you on how much seed you need to succeed. After seeding, covering the seed with a layer of peat moss or straw is a good idea to help protect it as it takes root.

Water--but not too much.

Many of us can relate to being "over-served" at a bar or restaurant. The same principle applies to your lawn. Knowing how much to water your new lawn is essential. Watering in the early morning with a pulsing or oscillating sprinkler attachment is the best first step. Then, check your lawn each day for moisture. Depending on your climate, you will need less or more water depending on how moist the soil is. Overwatering your new lawn will stunt the rooting of the seeds and slow the new growth of green.

Your landscaper or local greenhouse are the best sources for successful new lawns. For do-it-yourselfers, following these simple basics can help make your new lawn project a success.

About the Author
Joe Cooper writes education, home services, and design articles, and manages corporate communications. He holds a bachelor's in American Literature from UCLA.

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