How to Establish a LAWN

Kill unwanted existing vegetation using a systemic herbicide such as Round Up.
Cultivate the soil (no sooner than 10 days after herbicide is applied) to a depth of 4 inches.
Remove clumps of sod and weeds and remove or break up clods of soil.
Apply 8 lbs. of 12-12-12 fertilizer and 40 lbs. of lime per 100 sq. ft. to the soil
Grade the soil so that it slopes away from the foundation and so that a smooth and even seed bed exists
The soil surface should be slightly below the surface of sidewalks, driveways and 1/2 inches below these surfaces for

Apply site-adapted seed mix uniformly to the soil at rates of 3 to 5lbs. per 1000 sq. ft.
Lightly rake over the seeds to cover them with a very thin layer of soil (1/4" at most).
Roll the new seeded soil to insure good soil/seed contact.

Dampen the soil surface prior to unrolling the sod.
Unroll the sod starting at a square corner of the yard (for example, the curb)
Stagger the lengths of sod creating a brick-like pattern
Butt the sod edges together to keep them from drying out and browning up later.
Cut around trees, shrubs, borders, lampposts, etc. with a sharp knife.
Finally, roll or tamp the sod and cover the outer exposed edges of the lawn with soil so they do not dry out.

Water the new lawn area every day.
Soak thoroughly the first time. Soil should be wet to a depth of 6 inches. (Once the grass seeds begin to germinate, it is
vital that they do not dry out!)
Water moderately every day for the first three to four weeks.
Thereafter, water thoroughly and deeply 2 or 3 times per week through the first summer, depending on rainfall and
soil. Shade sites and clay soils will normally require less frequent watering and sandy soils more frequent watering.

Keep foot traffic to a minimum the first year and when soil is saturated with water.
Mow seedling turf when it is 2 to 3 inches long and sod after 3 to 4 weeks
Mow at a height of 1.5 to 2.5 inches in the sun and 2 to 3 inches in the shade.

Six weeks after sodding, apply a slow release turf food according to directions.
Fall seeding or sodding - fertilize the following spring.
Spring seeding or sodding - fertilize in the following fall, following directions on the package.
Shady sites require less fertlizer.
Periodic soil testing through the Cooperative Extention Service is recommended.

Apply granular 'Weed and Feed' fertilizer to control broadleafed weeds after new grass has been mowed 3 times. Apply
when the foliage is damp and when rain is not predicted for 48 hours. If preferred, Weed-B-Gon may be applied as a
liquid spray using a hose end sprayer. This is very effective especially during a rainy season.

Disease and insect problems are normally difficult to diagnose so please contact us if you have problems or call the
MSU Extension office.

Frequent mowings and vigorous stiff raking in spring and fall minimize thatch build up.
Up to 1/4 inch of thatch is actually beneficial to the lawn
Should thatch become a problem, dethatching machines can be used in early spring or September.

These instructions should help you to have a thick, healthy green lawn