Here are some care instructions for after your new lawn has been installed.
Mowing your new lawn for the first time
It will be necessary to wait approximately 10 to 14 days for the sod to root firmly to your soil before you attempt to mow the first time. You should check several areas of the yard, picking up different areas paying special attention to the edges of each roll. If you feel tension and can not lift the sod easily, it will be safe to mow. Stop watering 24 hours before mowing. Never mow your lawn when it is wet. Set your mower on the highest setting. After mowing, remove all the clippings and clumps from the lawn. They will smother and kill the grass underneath. Start watering as soon as you finish mowing and clean up. Repeat this process every 3-4 days, lowering your mower each time until desired mowing height of 1 1/2 to 2 inches is achieved.
Note: Bluegrass does not react well to shock and will be quite long at the first mowing.
Mowing Established Lawns
Keep mower blades sharp to prevent damage to the grass blades. Ragged cuts invite disease and make the lawn look brown. Follow the one-third rule. Mow when the grass blades are about one-third taller than the recommended height. To maintain grass at 2 inches high for example, mow when it reaches no more than 3 inches. Taking too much off at once starves the roots and may expose new, lower leaves to sunburn. Leave small and finely cropped clippings on the lawn. They will decompose and improve the soil's health. Remove clumps that can smother the grass underneath. Mow grass when it is dry. Wet grass cuts unevenly and requires raking to remove the matted clippings, which smother the grass. Cutting wet grass also promotes the growth and spread of disease organisms. Alternate mowing direction each time you mow to help keep grass growing upright and to prevent soil compaction. Mow at 45 or 90 degree angle to your last pattern.
Most lawns will probably need to be fertilized 2 to 3 times per year. It is recommended that soil samples be taken so you can find out exactly what the needs of your lawn are. You can contact the Michigan State University Extension office nearest you, and they can explain the proper procedure that they need you to take in order for them to give you accurate information.
For the first two to three weeks, or until firmly rooted, water 2-3 times a day (never let the root zone dry out). Temperatures in the mid to high 80's require watering 3 times a day.
Suggested watering start times - 6:00am - 12:00pm - 6:00pm
Bluegrass requires about 1 inch of water per week. For the best results, start watering in the early morning before the sun comes out. At this time, the winds are usually calm, evaporation is at a minimum, and the water volume and pressure are at the their highest.