For fast results, try hydroseeding your lawn. Hydroseed is prepared in a mixing tank. As the tank is filling with water, a cellulose fiber is added, as well as the seed mixture. Once the tank is full, a growth stimulant and fertilizer are added and then mixed for about ten minutes. Once it's ready, the mixture is sprayed evenly across the soil.
Always buy "certified seed". This is identified by a blue tag saying certified. By spending a few extra cents up front, you will save many hundreds of dollars along with the added aggravation of controlling unwanted weeds later. Choose the right grass seed, sod or sprigs for your situation.
If you don't have a soil moisture probe, some simple guidelines can help you decide when to water. Water when grass changes from a green to a grayish blue color, when grass leaves begin to roll, when the grass stays down after being walked on, or when you can't easily push a screwdriver down into the soil a half foot or so. Apply 1/4 in. of water and then check to see if the soil is wet down to 6 in. If it isn't, make another application just so the soil is moist, but not wet or sticky.
The first cut in the spring and the last cut in the fall should be low. In the spring this removes any winter fungus and in the fall prevents fungus from getting established during the winter.
If you want an instant lawn, sod's the only way to go. First, prepare your soil with lime and fertilizer, just as you would for a seeded lawn. Lay the strips of sod in a staggered pattern so that the joints overlap. Make sure the seams are tight so that when the roots knit, the seams will be invisible. Make sure you roll it all out in one day. Even overnight, rolled sod will burn yellow. Keep your new lawn well watered for several weeks until new roots have penetrated the soil.
During construction, soil will often be without grass, trees, shrubs, and other plants. Without this protective vegetation, storms can move the soil into your neighbor's yard, clog storm drains and streams, and carry pesticides and nutrients into the water. To prevent erosion, cover these bare areas with mulch, such as straw, grass clippings, stones, wood chips, and other protective cover. On steeper slopes, you should cover the mulch with burlap netting for extra protection. Vegetated and mulched areas increase water filtration into the soil, reducing erosive runoff water.
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.