After Planting Care

Care of your turfgrass following installation is very important. The amount of care and maintenance provided early on will shape how your grass will establish and perform. The four (4) most important maintenance components, post initial of vegetative turfgrass (sod) or seed, are (i) providing root to soil contact, (ii) water (irrigation), (iii) routine mowing once the grass has rooted and (iv) fertility. Follow the steps below to ensure your turf thrives after planting.

 

Vegetative Turf

  • Immediately after laying your turf, a pre-emergent herbicide is recommended to be applied across the grass to limit or prevent germinating weeds. A pre-emergent herbicide can be purchased as a stand alone product, or it can be purchased as a combination pre-emergent herbicide which also contains slow release fertiliser. The herbicide content provides a thin layer of protection across the thatch and soil, so when a weed seed germinates, it hits the herbicide layer and dies.

  • Fertiliser is essential for turf growth and development. Turf fertiliser can be applied at planting or shortly after. An annual program is then recommended.

  • As a general rule, new turf should be watered heavily at least every second day, plus two light applications each day. In very hot weather, the frequency of light watering may need to be increased to several light waterings per day.

  • Newly laid turf only has a very shallow root system and must be kept moist for the first 2 weeks to prevent it from drying out or browning off. Different soils have different moisture holding capacities, so you will need to check regularly to ensure that the turf and soil below are kept moist.

  • As deeper roots develop, the watering regieme can be cut back to deep watering every week, depending on weather and seasonal conditions. You may need to increase the watering to twice a week during summer.

  • Although the grass will accept light traffic following planting, it should not be brought into full service until firmly rooted. This usually takes around 2 to 4 weeks depending on the species of turfgrass, your location and time of planting.

  • Newly laid turf should also be mowed as soon as it has firmly anchored to the soil. Rooting can be easily checked by attempting to lift corners of the turf. The first mow should be just a light trim and the grass should not be scalped. The height can then be gradually reduced over the next 2 to 3 mowings. It is important to not mow more than one third of the leaf blade off to limit stress to the plant (unless you are scarifying or dethatching). For more advice and tips on mowing, please click here.

  • Depending on your turf install, and lateral growth of your turfgrass, you may still notice the turf joins of the slabs or rolls. The grass will cover these when lateral growth and turf density increases. Alternatively, topdressing sand can be applied along the turf joins and fertiliser can be applied across the entire lawn.

  • Following turf establishment, please refer to the seasonal turf care guide.

 

Seeding

  • Restrict the entry of large pets, particularly dogs, into the sown area until the lawn has almost or ideally 100% grass cover.

  • Maintain frequent light irrigation to keep the soil moist during germination until the seedlings have established. Once the seedlings have begun active growth, water less frequently but more heavily to promote deeper root growth. Visit our irrigation page for further information.

  • Check the seed packet for species-specific mowing instructions. Generally, seedlings are not mown until they are 80 mm high. Set the mower height at 60 mm to remove only the top 20 mm. This height can be gradually reduced, using the one third mowing rule, as the lawn develops and the turf density increases.

  • Fertiliser is essential for turf growth and development. It is recommended that fertiliser be applied approximately 1 month post seeding. Please refer to our fertiliser page for supplementary information.

  • Following turf establishment, please refer to the seasonal turf care guide.

As soon as your turf has 100% grass cover and roots are firmly established, you can commence aeration practices. For residential lawns, this can be either by a hand hled hollow tine aerator, or by a walk behind solid tyne or hollow tyne aerator. A pitch fork is also beneficial on a newly established small lawn to help entice the roots through the farm soil (if soild turfing) into your soil. It is important to monitor the work being undertaken. If significant lifting or damage is observed, aeration practices should be stopped.