New Home owners and need Lawn advice - Knowledgebase Question

Whittier, Ca
Question by vanity0540
March 10, 2010
I just moved into my new house in January and this is my first experience with Lawn maintenance. When I moved in there was a lot of crab grass and Clovers and Dandalions. I have just applied a weed killer from Scotts that was picked out by a member of the Home Depot staff. After I've waited the time to start a new lawn what do I do? Is it better to till and plant seed or just lie down seed?

Answer from NGA
March 10, 2010


If you start with a good base, you'll have a trouble-free lawn for years to come. Start by rototilling the area to break up the soil. Remove any debris (stones, sticks, weeds, etc.) and then spread 4-5 inches of organic matter over the area and rototill it in, then rake the area smooth. Be sure there's a slight slope away from your house so rainwater will drain down towards the street rather than the foundation of your home. You can either sod or seed your new lawn. Sod produces an almost instant lawn because the grass is mature with a healthy root system. After laying the sod and watering it down well, it only takes a week or two to become firmly established. Seeding takes a little longer, but the results are eventually the same - a lush, thick, healthy lawn. If you decide to seed your lawn, choose a mixture of perennial ryegrass, creeping fescues and bluegrass. This mixture contains both cool season and warm season grasses and will ensure your lawn remains green all summer and winter long.

After your grass has established you'll want to put it on a regular watering, mowing and feeding schedule. Turfgrasses need about an inch of water per week. Apply water slowly so it can percolate down and encourage deep rooting. Mow as often as necessary to keep the turf at about 2 1/2 inches. And, feed in April, June, September and late November with a 3-1-2 ratio of NPK. I find that garden centers usually have the right fertilizer on sale at just the right application time so watch the ads.

Best wishes with your new landscape!

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