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Below are some conditions which may appear subsequent to your lawn being hydroseeded. Many of these situations are easily remedied.
Most lawns begin to fill in rapidly after a few mowings. The energy of the plant should be transferred from the plant into the root. It is important to mow early so that the plant will begin to propagate. When the lawn reaches 2" it is ready for mowing. Set the mower at 1 1/2" so that no more than 1/3 of the plant will be mowed at any given time. Mowing will stimulate root growth and help the lawn grow thicker.
Lawns Require Temperature To Grow:
During spring and late fall, temperatures often fall below 50 deg. A lawn requires at least 50 deg for it to grow. Shaded conditions and low temperatures significantly slow down a plants growth rate. It is natural for a lawn to grow slowly in these conditions and patience is necessary. SprayLawn Hydroseed will grow on the hood of your car, unfortunately the product germinates only as fast as the climate will allow.
It is vital that your lawn be fertilized regularly. Without nutrients, your hydroseeded lawn will "stall out" and struggle. If you have not fertilized within 30 days of a hydroseed application, this is the first order of business and may explain why you may still see some dirt.
Several years ago a customer requested I look at his lawn. Upon my arrival I was shocked to see alternating strips of thick, lush lawn and near bare dirt. I had never encountered anything of the kind. It was only later when talking to the gentleman that I found out that the customer had used an old fashioned drop type fertilizer spreader incorrectly. When he pushed it, the spreader dropped fertilizer on the lawn, and when he pulled it, it did nothing. The thin areas were a result of a total lack of fertilizer on the lawn. I cannot emphasize enough how important it is to fertilize in order to sustain the performance of a hydroseeded yard. This is especially true when marginal soils are used without any composted loam mixed in.
You May Need Lime:
Very often lawns will struggle and become very thin if they are under evergreen trees. Evergreen trees shed pitch and needles which greatly acidify the soil. It is vital to your lawn that you treat it with lime in order to neutralize these conditions. If left untreated, the soil may become so acidic that it cannot support a lawn. Dolomite (a granulated lime) is convenient to work with as it is pellitized form does not become airborne, eliminating the nuisance of any caustic airborne dust. Lime treatment is an ongoing maintenance procedure which must be performed 2 to 3 times per year, depending on the density of the evergreen vegitation.
On occasion we see overwatering or ponding conditions. In either event, the lawn will appear unhealthy and blanched. If you look very close at the base of your grass and see black stems, chances are you have one of these conditions. The easiest remedy is to reduce the watering cycle if you have overindulged your lawn. If your lawn is slightly marshy without having watered it, then you will either have to add a sandy topping mix (at 1/2" intervals every other month) or introduce drainage. Ponding conditions are serious and cannot be resolved chemically.
Precipitated organic tailings in topsoil will typically cause thinning and yellowing. The problem arises where, in these isolated areas, the grass plants root find itself suspended in a sawdusty environment and has no chance of sustaining any hydration. The roots basically have no real dirt to establish itself in and dry up. I have literally grabbed a handful of virtual sawdust in these circumstances with the struggling lawn hanging on for dear life on top. In these circumstances one needs to fertilize, lime, and water regularly in order to fully decompose these spongy spots.
Yellow / Pale Green Lawns
When your lawn has been hydroseeded there is about 3 to 4 weeks of fertilizer in it. If you have a yellow or minty green lawn, you need to fertilize. Please refer to the fertilizing segment of this Web site for directions.
Uncomposted, organic material in your topsoil will greatly draft the nitrogen out of your lawn. Many topsoil companies deliver "hot dirt" as there is really not enough time for them to fully compost their topsoil. Yellowing often is a result of this process and can be remedied by adding additional nitrogen to offset this process. Typically, this type of dirt will fully compost in a few years and does not require this kind of treatment anymore.
Lawn Does Not Respond To Fertilizers
It may be early or late in the season where all the lawn really needs is a stretch or nice, warm weather to grow.
If your lawn is under a canopy of evergreen trees, you may have an acidity problem. Lime will greatly help this problem. Acidic soils will not respond to fertilizer and lawns in this environment will remain thin unless treated with lime.
If your lawn has a sandy composition, chances are the fertilizer is rinsing through so fast that the plant cannot absorb it. The solution is to fertilize more heavily and more often.
A high percentage of uncomposted organic material in your topsoil will draft the nitrogen out of your lawn. The solution is to up the nitrogen to offset the nitrogen draft until the topsoil has stabilized.
If you have a sandy soil, one can perceive patchy colors in your lawn as a mosaic of the different transporation rates in various areas of your yard. The greater the drainage, the lighter the color. The slower the drainage, the darker the color. Until the lawn matures and the roots imbed themselves more deeply, you will need to fertilize more heavily in the lighter areas.
If you have an imported 3 way topsoil mix, chances are better than not that the patchy areas visible on your lawn are resultant from nitrogen being drafted from areas containing varying degrees of uncomposted organic material. The solution is to lime and fertilize heavily until the soil stabilizes.
We frequently see lighter areas on the perimiter of a lawn. This is caused when topsoil is delivered and raked from the center of the yard. As the dirt is raked from the middle of the lawn, the lighter (more organic) material will precipitate and find its way to the perimeter. These organic uncomposted tailings tend to cause the grass to "yellow" more than in the center where the soil is more dense. This has the characteristic of having a lighter green ring around the outside of the lawn. This typically goes away within a season as the soil fully decomposes.
Weed growth can be treated with a selective herbicide. It is important to mow your lawn at least two or three times prior to using a selective herbicide. Please read the instructions. The grass we hydroseed with has been state certified by the DOA and "claims" to have 0.0% weeds in it. The number one cause of weed infestation is leaving a prepared lawn fallow. Airborne weeds will quickly find your lawn if left unseeded.
Believe it or not, the number one cause of wilting is.... over watering. Wilting is virtually synonymous with sprinklers set on a daily misting schedule where the roots have acclimated to a high water table. When the hot summer months come, the roots overheat and the plant will wilt. The solution to wilting is to soak your lawn once a week and promote deep root embeddment.
Moss is usually caused by a combination of not enough light and too much moisture. It is important to combat moss early as it is very difficulty to get rid of. Iron sulfate will kill moss, but is not always the best long term solution. Proper drainage, and improved lighting are the best remedy. If this is not possible, keep treating it with iron sulfate as you do not want moss in your lawn; it will take over.