Water your newly renovated lawn every dayJust as a convalescent person needs to be kept well hydrated, your lawn must be kept well-watered whilst recovering from renovation works. Plants cannot absorb nutrients from the soil unless those nutrients are dissolved in water first. If the soil is dry the plants will be hungry and thirsty and all of that renovation work will have been in vain.
It is essential that your newly renovated lawn is watered daily until the plants perk up and any new seed is growing stronglyDO NOT ASSUME THAT RAIN IS ENOUGH. Your lawn needs at least 5mm of water every single day until the plants have recovered and all new seed has germinated. If the soil is allowed to dry out, the plants will die and it will take much longer for your lawn to look as good as you want it to. For best results, water in the evening and use either a sprinkler or a hosepipe with a rose attachment. Water daily until seed has germinated and the new plants are at least 5cm tall.
Keep Off the Grass!The grass plants in your lawn have had their roots and leaves disturbed to stimulate new growth. You may also have had grass seed added to speed up the process. Right now, all that soft and tender new growth is vulnerable to bruising and needs time to build strength. In 3-4 weeks-time your lawn will be able to cope with light traffic. In the meantime, please keep off the grass.
Protect seeds from birdsOverseeding your lawn leaves lots of delicious looking grass seeds on or near the surface of the soil. Be prepared to find ways to stop the birds from eating every last one of them before they germinate. You’ll find ideas for home-made bird scarers on the internet.
MowingAfter renovation, wait until the grass is 7-8cm tall before you cut it. Choose a nice sunny day when the grass is dry and there is no risk of frost. Make sure your mower blades are spotlessly clean and very sharp. Blunt blades rip at the grass and leave ragged edges that can get infected (yes, grass gets diseases too). Put the grass box on and set the blades nice and high. To scalp the lawn at this stage could be fatal. Aim to remove about 25% of the length. For the first cut, mow once, and then mow again at 90 degrees to the first cut. This will make sure that most of the grass blades have their tips nipped off. That’s important because it will stimulate new growth. Wait at least 3-4 days before the next cut. For the next 6 months or so it’s important to never remove more than 25% of the grass blades at each cut. If you are not able to mow little and often, think about asking Premier Lawns NI to help.
What’s normal and what’s notIt’s normal for your newly renovated lawn to look brown and sparse to begin with. You should be able to see new growth within 14 days – weather permitting. In cold weather, you’ll not see much change until the soil starts to warm up.
This Belfast lawn has been scarified, to remove moss then topdressed and overseeded.
One month later. The seed has germinated and is growing strongly. What was once a mossy patch of ground is well on it’s way to being a premier lawnIt’s normal for seed germination to be a little bit patchy sometimes. Seeds germinate at different times according to the grass species and the microclimate. Don’t worry – keep it well watered and growth will catch up within a couple of weeks. If new plants appear floppy and lay flat on the ground, something is wrong. Check the soil. If it is dry – water it ASAP. When the soil has been watered very recently, is still damp and the plants look poorly, then ring Robbie for advice. If you can see areas of blackened grass that are evenly sized and regularly spaced – the plants may have been bruised. Has anyone walked across the lawn when it was either frozen or when seeds were just germinating? It should recover in time but it will look a bit odd for a couple of months. Keep an eye out for signs of fungal infection, particularly after autumn renovations. Slimy deposits, small white globules, or patches of discoloured grass could be cause for concern. Phone Premier Lawns NI for advice.