The Q&A Archives: Starting a lawn

Question: My husband and I have been trying to get our lawn started. We were told that this time of year is kind of difficult but we want to try because the backyard needs it. We move the soil around a couple of times to aerate it and fertilize, put the seeds and hay and we have been watering day and night (as told by the guy at the garden place) for a few days and nothing. How long does it take to start? Do you think that we did something wrong that can be fixed? I would love to have a few suggestions. This is our first house and we are planning to have people over in a couple of weeks, so I really need the lawn to be walkable because the house is kind of small. Thank you for your time and your help.

Answer: Grass seed can take up to about three weeks to germinate depending on the variety you planted. Unfortunately, new grass is just not able to handle heavy foot traffic -- it is fragile. And this really is the most stressful time to try to start a lawn due to the heat and typically dry summer weather. The best time is late summer to early fall, so you will have a good opportunity then. You might consider using a light layer of mulch as a walking surface for the party, then reseed in early September.

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