410-721-1861 l 1401 Rossback Road l Davidsonville, MD 21035
WHEN TO PLANT: Late August - October
The preferred time to plant a lawn is Oct/Nov. when weeds are at their lowest growth cycle. This will allow the root system to develop over the winter in preparation for the hot and dry summer months. Spring is a good time to plant lawns if a proper weed control program is first implemented.
CULTIVATE SOIL/ORGANIC MATERIAL:
Plow, rotor till, hand dig or somehow soften/breakup the soil to allow for good root and water penetration of the soil. This operation is the most important part of the whole process to obtain a healthy drought tolerant lawn with deep roots. Depending on soil (i.e. clay or very sandy), you may want to add All Grow or Leaf Grow to the soil. Incorporate fertilizer & lime and level to final grade. Apply fertilizer and lime to the area as follows; use starter or 5-10-10 fertilizer apply ½ lb. per 1000 square feet; use pellets or granular lime, apply 40 lbs of lime per 1000 square feet.
Pick a good quality seed (from the label look for 98% pure seed no weed, no crop seed, low inert ingredients with a germination of 85%). Note, you can refer to Maryland Department of Agriculture website to see a listing of seed varieties that do well in the state of Maryland. Sow at the recommended seeding rate. Sow 1/4 of the seed to the entire area in one application. Follow with the next three applications in different directions. For best results use a hand crank operated seed spreader.
RAKE SEED INTO THE SURFACE LIGHTLY:
Using a bamboo or fan rake, brush the seed barely under the soil.
Mulch with 1/8th inch of straw. Straw will provide shade to new seedlings and help retain moisture.
NEWLY SEEDED WATERING:
Water seeds in thoroughly with a fine mist nozzle. Depending on the time of year, the seed bed may take as many as 5 short cycles per day. Germination will occur within 2 weeks for some grasses while others may take as long as 3 weeks. For this reason: YOU MUST KEEP SEED BED DAMP UNTIL ALL SEED HAS GERMINATED. HOWEVER, DO NOT OVER WATER! Reduce the number of cycles per day to just keep the surface damp.
After 3 weeks most of the seed will be germinated and you can cut back on the number of watering cycles. When the grass reaches to 2 or 3 inches in height. Allow the seed bed to dry out just enough so that you can walk lightly on it without leaving footprints. Mow the lawn with a sharp blade (a dull blade will pull the shallow rooted new plants out of the soil). Set the mower at a 3 inches cutting height. After the initial mowing, watering cycles should be set to maintain 1 to 2 1/2 inches of water per week, depending on your location during the summer months and until the weather cools.