Care for Your New Pacific Sod Lawn
Just how much watering your lawn requires depends on the variety of grass you have, weather, depth of roots, quality of care, foot traffic, type of soil and desired appearance. Using an automatic sprinkler system on a timer is the best way to make sure the lawn gets enough regular irrigation.
If your lawn has gray, wilted areas, this is an early warning that the lawn needs more water in that area, commonly called a “hot spot”. Almost all brown spots are caused by improper watering practices. Even over-watering can invite disease, insects or other damage to the lawn.
Improper mowing can actually leave your lawn vulnerable to weeds, insects and disease. Bad mowing destroys even more lawns than insects and diseases do. Keep in mind that the grass blades are what the plant uses to absorb sunlight and conduct photosynthesis, which makes the grass grow. Cut too short and the grass will not have enough leaf surface to process sunlight, water and nutrients.
Different varieties of grass require different mowing practices, and even different mowers. Hybrid bermudagrasses for example, require a reel mower to keep the grass trimmed and healthy, while fescue and bluegrass sod may be maintained with either reel or rotary blade mowers. A clean and sharp mower blade will also make a cleaner cut and leave a healthier lawn after mowing.
The height at which the grass is cut is also important. Fescue grasses should be cut from 1.5 to 3 inches in height, depending on the weather and environmental conditions, such as shade, temperature, water and light. Bermuda varieties may be mowed much shorter without affecting the health of the grass. Specialty grasses need to be maintained with extra care and particular mowing requirements. Be sure of the proper recommendations for your grass.
Proper fertilizing helps a lawn stay healthy and green, show good texture and resist disease. Fertilized grass also grows more vigorously and competes better with weeds, squeezing them out. A regular fertilization schedule should be implemented to fit the variety of grass on your lawn.
Did you know your lawn needs 16 different elements to survive? Keep in mind that most of them are already provided to the lawn from the soil or added soil amendments. However, three primary elements – Nitrogen (N), Phosphorus(P), and Potassium(K) – need to be added to your lawn in the form of fertilizer. Fertilizers are labeled with the amount of each of these elements in the fertilizer. The first number is the percentage of nitrogen present, the second is phosphorus, and the third is the percentage of potassium.
Pacific Sod Do-It-Yourself Kits include the appropriate starter and maintenance fertilizers. A typical fertilization schedule includes the application of one pound of 100% Nitrogen per thousand square feet of lawn. A fertilizer labeled N10-P10-K10 has 10% Nitrogen, so you would apply 10 pounds of 10% Nitrogen to equal 1 pound of 100% Nitrogen.
It’s impossible to have a weed-free lawn, but don’t let that discourage you. Weeds are a constant challenge. Don’t overlook hand weeding, especially if you have a small yard or only a few weeds. Hand weeding is more efficient, and less expensive than buying and applying weed control products to your entire lawn.
The number of insects in your lawn depends primarily on the weather, with the highest insect levels occurring when it’s hot and dry. However, even at times when you can’t see them, they may be hard at work, damaging both the grass and the roots.
Lawn diseases don’t happen just to lawns that are poorly maintained; even devoted gardeners come face to face with grass diseases. The most important thing is to create a healthy stand of grass to prevent diseases from getting started in your lawn.