New Lawn Care

Discussion in 'Homeowner Assistance Forum' started by snmhanson, Aug 9, 2004.

  1. snmhanson

    snmhanson LawnSite Member
    Messages: 59

    I had a new lawn hydroseeded about four weeks ago and for the most part it is looking pretty good. There are a few patchy areas still and a couple of brown spots but it all seems to be filling in. I just wanted to get some advice on mowing heights and intervals and watering schedules to make sure I am doing everything correct. The seed used was a ryegrass/bluegrass/fescue mix. We live in the Columbia Gorge and get pretty warm (~90 degree average) and dry weather July through September. I have been tapering my watering back to just once a day now and am probably going to start with a schedule of three or four times a week of deeper watering soon. I have mowed twice so far, the first at 2.5 inches and the second at 2 inches. I haven't fertilized yet (a starter was in the hydroseed mixture) but I am going to start fertigating soon.

    So I guess I'm wondering what is the best mow height for a healthy lawn. We like a shorter cut lawn (2" is ideal for us) but I don't want it that short at the expense of an unhealthy lawn. Also, our grass is growing pretty quickly which is going to require short intervals between mowing. I don't mind mowing often but is this unhealthy for the grass? What should the minimum interval between cuts be? How about mulching? I am using a relatively large tractor (Kubota B7800 w/ mmm) to mow and don't have a bagger for it so have just been mulching and trying to pick up any large clumps. The cut has been pretty good with the tractor but is mulching OK or will it hinder new grass growth? And what is a typical water schedule? I've heard anywhere from a once-a-week deep watering to three times a week. And finally I need to thicken up some areas that are thin. Will they fill in on their own pretty well with fertigation or should I throw out some more seed?

    Thanks for any help on this. Also, if there is any other advice to be added feel free to send it my way.

  2. TSM

    TSM LawnSite Senior Member
    from MA
    Messages: 707

    cool season grasses do well at a 3 inch mowing height.

    ideally you should never mow more than 1/3 of the grass blade, so short intervals of mowing is not a problem.

    mulching the clippings is also very good

    provide about 1.5 inches of water per week. I recommend 2 or 3 waterings per week. 3 times during the peak heat season, 2 times otherwise. as long as the water volume equals around 1.5 inches total for a week.

    With the bluegrass you have and with a good fertilization program you will see it filling in nicely (bluegrass can take 21-25 days for germination, so if your lawn is 30 days old that young blue will begin to fill in) on the other hand if you have 'bald' spots then i'd say go ahead and 'scratch and seed' those areas.

    Now, when you say fertigation.....are you fertilizing through your irrigation system? Personally, I'm not a fan of those systems, or at least I have never seen a system that has impressed me. You probably have a very large lawn area (judging by your tractor) I'd suggest getting a hopper for that tractor and use a granular fertilizer.

    good luck, sounds like your on your way to a great lawn.
  3. snmhanson

    snmhanson LawnSite Member
    Messages: 59


    Thanks for the help. We actually only have about 20,000 sf of lawn but have four additional acres of trees, weeds and rocks and I had to do some major landscaping to get the lawn in place which is why I have the tractor. I am going to try the fertigation system since it is already installed but if it doesn't seem to be working I will go to applying it manually. I'm looking forward to the bluegrass and fescue coming in and thickening things up a bit. Thanks again for the input.


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