Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Irrigating New Grass Seed: Irrigation Expert Advice

Irrigation and Lighting Expert's advice on irrigating new grass seed.
Irrigating new grass seed can be difficult if you don't have the right knowledge. Many grass planting projects fail for various reasons, but most commonly because of under-watering.

“As irrigation experts, we've seen many homeowners try to grow grass and fail because their lawn wasn't receiving enough water,” said John Minor, owner of Irrigation and Lighting Specialist. "The most important step to establishing a healthy new lawn is practicing proper watering techniques." 

Mid to late spring is the ideal time to plant your warm weather grasses in Charlotte. During the month of April, sunshine and cool temperatures provide great growing conditions for your lawn. But, ensuring it recieves enough water is essential.

To help you grow new grass this spring, we've put together a few watering tips to ensure your lawn is green and full! 

Know Which Grasses Thrive in Charlotte’s Climate.

Most lawns in the area consist of Fescue grasses. Fescue is easy to maintain, but as a cool weather grass, it turns brown in the heat of summer. Bermuda grass can thrive in Charlotte, but requires proper watering. Instead of a dull brown, Bermuda grass turns an attractive shade of green during the hot summer months.

Establishing Bermuda grass can be more difficult, but the rewards are much higher than using Fescue. Since watering will need to be so closely monitored, we recommend using a quality irrigation system. An irrigation system ensures water is distributed evenly. 

Warm-season grasses thrive when planted in late spring. The weather is warm, but not so hot it damages the plant. When the heat of summer comes, your grass will already be established and healthy enough to feed off of the intense sunlight.

Use Fine Textured Organic Matter to Hold Moisture.

Ensure the ground and soil are as even as possible before spreading the seed. Once the seed is spread evenly, top-dress the seed. Top-dressing with textured organic matter like peat moss helps maintain a healthy layer of moisture above the seeds.

We recommend using a peat spreader or cage roller for this process. Apply a very thin layer of peat moss (1/8in. – 1/4in.) over the entire area. Be sure not to exceed this moss thickness as it will inhibit the grass’ growth. Try to complete this process on a calm-winded day. High wind speeds will blow the material out of place and create an uneven surface.

The Most Important Step for Irrigating New Grass Seed: Water Properly!

Irrigation across Charlotte can be tricky because of our area's uneven and sloping landscapes. This can lead to over-watering of some areas and under-watering of others. At Irrigation and Lighting Specialist, we know this. That is why we offer irrigation systems with smart controllers. For each watering zone, we factor in the soil type, amount of sun an area receives and the slope of your property. All of our irrigation systems come with a rain sensor to stop watering in the event of rain. This feature is extremely important in safeguarding against over-saturation.
Water the entire area evenly. The first watering will need to wet the soil down at least six to eight inches. Monitor the area closely. If the seed bed is only slightly moist, water again. You may have to water several times throughout the day so that the top inch of the seedbed is moist.

Less watering is required once the seed germinates. When the soil becomes lighter in color, that means it is time for another watering.
Expert advice on irrigating new grass seed from Irrigation and Lighting Specialist.

Fertilize After Germination

Fertilize the grass four to eight weeks after germination. The grass has germinated and is healthy, but it still has a robust appetite. Fertilizing after germination ensures all the hard work you have done has not gone to waste.

“Fertilizing can be a messy hassle. Once again an irrigation system comes in handy. Irrigation and Lighting Specialist offers irrigation systems that automatically apply organic fertilizer in micro-doses,” said Minor.

Charlotte provides us with some of the most beautiful weather in the country. Your lawn can capitalize on the plentiful sunshine and ideal temperatures if you know the proper way to water your new seeds. Talk to the irrigation experts at Irrigation and Lighting Specialist to see how they can assist you with irrigating new grass seed. We look forward to providing you with the service and tools to keep your lawn green all summer long! To learn more or schedule a consultation, email John or call 704-747-0235.

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