1. How much water does my newly hydroseeded lawn need? (using a sprinkler)
The watering needs for every lawn will be different. What is important to remember is that you only need to keep the newly hydroseeded lawn moist during the germination period (7 to 14 days). You do not want to overwater. This may drown the new grass seeds. If you are seeing puddles reduce the amount of watering. You do not want to see the mulch and seed lying in puddles of water for extended periods of time. The amount of time to water will depend on the type of soil. Soils that are high in sand content will need more water (15 to 20 minutes – 2 to 3 times per day) than soils higher in clay content (5 to 10 minutes – 1 to 3 times per day). Areas in full sun will also need more watering while the areas that are shaded more will need less watering. You will need to pay close attention to the watering requirements of your lawn and adjust accordingly. When temperatures are hotter you will need to water more frequently. It is important to not let your mulch dry out for any longer than 24 hours.
2. I have an irrigation system. How should I program my system?
During the first 5 – 10 days you will need to water the lawn gently. You may need to set your system for very short cycles (5 minutes or less) that run more frequently (3 to 5 times a day). Running your irrigation system too long during the first 1 to 10 days may cause the mulch to be shifted around which may result in uneven growth or soil erosion. You will need to monitor your irrigation system very closely during the first day or two to ensure a gentle watering program. Once the grass has started to germinate (7 to 14 days) you can increase the run time of your irrigation system (10 to 15 minutes) and run it less frequently (2 to 3 times per day). This can be adjusted depending on the amount of rain Mother Nature provides.
3. When should I fertilize my newly hydroseeded lawn?
When the hydroseeding application is first applied to your lawn it contains a starter fertilizer that is high in phosphorus (2nd number on fertilizer bag: N-P-P) which encourages fast germination and deep root growth. This fertilizer will be used up by the newly established grass seedlings in about 4 to 5 weeks. At the 4 to 5 week timeframe a follow-up fertilizer application is very important! The follow-up fertilizer should be high in Nitrogen (1st number on the fertilizer bag: N-P-P). The nitrogen encourages green top plant growth. This will give your newly germinated grass a big boost! Remember: if your lawn is looking pale green in color it most likely needs a fertilizer that is high in Nitrogen. A well fertilized lawn also reduces the amount of weeds present in your lawn.
4. Will the green hydroseeding material stain my walkways and siding?
The green color in the hydroseeding material will not permanently stain your walkways or siding. Once the material is dry it can be easily washed or wiped away. Any residual coloring that remains will fade in the sunlight.
5. How long will it take for the grass seed to germinate?
We typically use a certified blend of grass seed that contains three types of seed. It is a blend of perennial ryegrass, fescue and bluegrass. Each type of grass seed has a different germination rate. The first to germinate will be the perennial ryegrass. It typically germinates in 7 to 10 days. With the perfect conditions we have seen it start to germinate in 4 days. The fescue is the second grass seed to start germinating. It starts to germinate at about 14 days. The last to germinate will be the bluegrass which can take up to 21 days to start to germinate. Since the grass seeds germinate at different rates your newly hydroseeded lawn may appear to be thin in the first 2 to 3 weeks but as the fescue and bluegrass seeds start to germinate and get established your lawn will continue to thicken and fill in. Due to the varying rates of germination this is why it is very important to continue to water daily for the first 4 to 5 weeks.
6. Why do I have weeds?
All newly seeded lawns can expect to experience weeds. All topsoil contains weed seeds. Weed seeds will lay dormant in topsoil for many years waiting for the ideal conditions to germinate. The fresh topsoil that you just spread on your yard has brought these weed seeds to the surface where they are now exposed to the conditions they need to germinate. The extent to which you experience weeds will vary on several factors. The time of year will affect the amount of weeds that you experience. The best time to hydroseed your lawn and experience the least amount of weeds will be in the fall (September to early October). The temperatures are cooler and most weeds will not germinate in the fall when winter is approaching. Weeds like hot and dry weather. This is when you will expect the greatest amount of weeds to germinate along with your grass seed.
7. How do I deal with weeds?
It is very important that you do not use any weed killers on your lawn for the first three months. The newly germinated grass will be very sensitive to the chemicals and you risk killing your new lawn. The best defense against weeds is a healthy lawn. In the beginning weeks you should keep any weeds trimmed off. Most weeds are annuals and you want to trim them off or pull them out before they have a chance to go to seed and put more weed seeds in your lawn for next year. You can use your lawn mower set at its highest setting to gently go over your newly germinated lawn and just snip off the taller weeds. As your lawn continues to grow and thicken it will slowly choke out the weeds. To encourage a healthy lawn it is important to regularly fertilize your lawn with a high nitrogen fertilizer. This will encourage thick top growth which will choke out the weeds. Also, remember to leave your mower on a high setting when mowing. Taller grass will discourage weed growth. When you scalp your lawn to short you expose more of the soil which allows the sunlight to penetrate through which triggers weed growth. Remember: A healthy, thick lawn discourages weeds!