If installed during Summer: Water new sod daily for the first three weeks. Thereafter water twice weekly for a few weeks. Finally, water once a week with one full inch (1") of water during the season. When the weather is very hot or very dry, return to the twice weekly schedule. If installed during Spring or Fall: Water daily but don't let it remain soggy and soft. If cool and rainy, water two or three times weekly, until the grass is established, which takes about 2 to 3 weeks. Set the sprinkler to this schedule... do not water daily after the grass is established. Stop watering in early October.
If the area you are building in has a steep slope, build terraces or steps made of logs or old railroad ties across the slope to divert water away from slopes and prevent soil erosion. Between the steps, spread a thick layer of wood chips to protect the soil. If the slope is gentle, seeding grass may be enough. Use splash guards on gutter outlets to help reduce erosion at the foundation of your home.
Lawn edging should be performed at regular intervals to maintain a neat appearance. Power edgers can be adjusted to make either straight of bevel cuts.
If you have bare patches in your lawn, prepare these areas for seed or sod. To care for your new and existing grass, be sure to water properly.
Here's an option for reseeding your lawn. If you have a large lawn or yard area consider renting or having your landscaper use a power rake instead of a rototiller to prepare your soil. A power rake is much wider and larger than a rototiller and able to cover the area more quickly. You will save time and money preparing your lawn for new seed or sod.
Mowing when the grass is wet or with a dull blade can cause the tip of the grass to shred, giving the lawn a brown appearance as the tips dry out, and making the grass more susceptible to disease. Cutting the grass in the intense heat can cause stress to the plant.
When winter is over and it's finally nice enough to venture out into your yard, the first thing you should do to ensure that your lawn will have a good head start for the growing season ahead is to clean up all the debris that built up over the last few months. A power blower will help you remove leaves, sticks and other materials.
If you dread the tedious task of raking leaves each fall, you'll be amazed at the ease of using a leaf blower. These gasoline or electric-powered machines force a stream of fast-moving air through a handheld nozzle. The air stream quickly propels into neat piles of leaves and debris from your lawn, driveway, walkway or patio. Some models also vacuum and deposit leaves into attached bags or shred them into small "mulch" particles, which protect your plants and soil from the winter cold.
An underwatered lawn cannot thrive. Weeds that are more drought resistant can overtake dry grass. A thorough watering once or twice a week is sufficient in most climates.
It is best to apply fertilizer when the soil is moist and then water lightly. This will help the fertilizer move into the root zone where it is available to the plants, rather than stay on top of the soil where it can be blown or washed away. Watch the weather. Avoid applying it immediately before a heavy rain system is predicted to arrive. Too much rain (or sprinkler water) will take the nutrients away from the lawn's root zone. Use the minimal amount of fertilizer necessary and apply it in small, frequent applications. An application of 2 pounds of fertilizer five times per year is better than 5 pounds of fertilizer twice a year. Calibrate your fertilizer spreader to be sure you know exactly how much material is being discharged in a given space. Follow instructions accompanying your spreader. When spreading fertilizer, cover ends of the lawn first, ten go back and forth across the rest of the lawn, using half of the recommended amount. Shut the spreader off before reaching the ends to avoik over-application. Apply the other half of the fertilizer going back and forth perpendicular to the first pattern. Dispose of fertilizer bags or containers in a safe and state-approved manner.