Helpful Resources from Langdon Bros.
Seeding a New Lawn
Draw a map of your new lawn area. Include all driveways, buildings, etc. This will save you money on seed & fertilizer. Measure the length and width of your new lawn area to determine the square footage or acreage. Once you take your measurements we will be happy to help you calculate your square footage. After we know the sq ft we can calculate the amount of seed needed. We’ll give you a personal tour of our lawn plot to help you decide the lawn seed mix best for your location
- Take a soil sample from several spots in your new lawn area. Mix the samples together and bring approx 1-2 pounds of the soil mixture sample to our office. Soil sample results take 10-15 days. We will mail you the results. A soil sample is not mandatory, but it is the only way for us to know the nutrient level of your soil. To maintain a strong healthy lawn you will need an annual fertilizer maintenance program.
- Now it’s time to get to work! Remove debris and rocks from the area. Get weeds under control with chemicals or tillage. Establish a rough grade. (plow, disk, roto-till, rake, harrow, etc.)
- Use high phosphorus starter fertilizer, such as 15-20-8. Spread the fertilizer in an even pattern at half rate. Then spread the second half of the fertilizer in the opposite direction to assure balanced distribution. Thoroughly till any fertilizer you apply in the top few inches of soil. Put your nutrients in the root zone. If you don’t have a tiller or disk, you can use a chain link fence, bed springs, or harrow/drag.
- Prepare the final grade just before you plant. It’s difficult to correct high and low spots later, so take your time. A chain link fence, bed springs, or any homemade drag can smooth areas.
- Seeding: Most lawn seed mixes are light and bulky and will not flow through your seeder very fast thus requiring 3-4 trips over the area to assure proper distribution of seed. Take time calibrate your seeder. Start with your seeder open 1/4 to 1/3 and seed a premeasured area with a known amount of seed. Once you feel comfortable with the rate you are ready to seed your new lawn. Spread the seed in a back and forth pattern such as, north to south, then spread east to west if your area is congenial to this pattern. Always remember, if you have 300 lbs. for one acre of 5 lbs. for 1000 square feet it doesn’t matter how many times you cover the area as long as you get the correct amount of seed on the area.
- Sowing too little seed results in a patchy clumpy lawn. Sowing too much seed can result in an over crowded lawn prone to disease. Stay within the recommended rates for best results.
- Rake or drag in the seed at depth of 1/8 to 1/4 inch to ensure good seed to soil contact. Do not over rake or you may redistribute and bury the seed.
- Lightly roll the seed bed to help press the seeds firmly in the soil. Surrounding the seed with soil helps the seed absorb more water and germinate faster. DO NOT use a big heavy roller. Compaction can be a problem even in lawns. A roller is not necessary, but may help.
- Apply a thin layer of straw and water the area thoroughly. There is nothing like a gentle one inch rain to soak the soil. The top layer of soil will always dry out first, so continue to water each day until emergence. Proper heat and moisture are very important. You may need to water more than once a day.
- Gradually reduce water as the grass plants emerge. Watering too much can cause disease in young plants. Never put your grass to bed wet! Water during the morning or day so the plants can dry off before night.
- Begin mowing at 3 inches and continue this height for thick healthy grass. Do not remove more than 1/3 of the total plant height per mowing. (Ask Landon Bros. for more details about mowing and fertilizing your new lawn.)
- In conclusion this is a basic plan to use for establishment of new lawn. A properly established lawn can last you a lifetime, so listen and plan. You may develop your own technique as you gain experience.
What is aeration?
Aeration is the process of mechanically removing small plugs of thatch and soil from the lawn to improve soil aeration. Textbooks often refer to the practices of soil aeration as soil cultivation (coring, spiking, and slicing).
What are the benefits of aeration?
Core aeration helps the lawn’s health and vigor, and it reduces maintenance requirements. The following are other benefits of core aeration.
- Improved air exchange between the soil and atmosphere
- Enhanced soil water uptake
- Improved fertilizer uptake and use
- Reduce water runoff and puddling
- Improved turfgrass rooting
- Reduced soil compaction
- Enhanced heat and drought stress tolerance
- Improved resiliency and cushioning
- Enhanced thatch breakdown
Why is aeration necessary?
In most home lawns, the natural soil has been seriously disturbed by the building process. Fertile topsoil may have been removed or buried during excavation of the basement or footings, leaving subsoil that is more compact, higher in clay content and less desirable for healthy lawn growth. These lawns need aeration to improve the depth and extent of turfgrass rooting and to improve fertilzer and water use.
Intensively used lawns are exposed to stress from traffic injury. Walking, playing and mowing are forms of traffic that compact soil and stress lawns. Raindrops and irrigation increase soil density by compacting soil particles and reducing large air spaces where roots may readily grow.
When should lawns be aerated?
Both spring and fall are ideal times to aerate cool season turfgrass such as Kentucky bluegrass and perennial ryegrass. In most cases, spring aeration is performed between March and May, depending on the locations, turfgrass species and intensity of use. Fall aeration is done in late summer and early fall, usually between August and November. Aeration before or at the time of late season fertilization enhances root growth responses and improves spring greenup and growth.
What can you expect?
About 7 to 10 days after aeration, the aerification holes will be filled with white, actively growing roots. These roots are a sign that the turfgrass is responding to the additional oxygen, moisture and nutrients in the soil from the process.
Don’t expect miracles from a single aeration, particularly on lawns growing on extremely poor soils. most lawns benefit from annual aeration. Lawns that receive this care will be healthier, more vigorous, easier to maintain and have fewer pest problems than lawns that are neglected.