Buying a new construction home is very exciting. You are the first owners of the home and you are about to move in and start putting your own personal mark on it. There are a few things you must know about landscaping maintenance that will save you a lot of money down the road if addressed properly from the beginning!
1. Newly Seeded Lawns. If you received the “starter lawn” package from the builder, your lawn is most likely seeded with a layer of straw over the seed. The most important time for your yard will be the first 30 days. Begin to water immediately to establish a moist soil condition. Watering your lawn in the morning will allow your lawn to dry off before nightfall. This helps prevent disease and fungus that will attack wet grass. You should water your lawn every day to maintain a moist soil surface for 20-30 days. The amount of water your lawn requires depends on the type of soil you have, temperature, humidity, wind and amount of rain. Be sure to adjust accordingly.
New grass is delicate and lawn mower blades should be sharp. This will help prevent the grass blades from being pulled out or torn. It is recommended to maintain a minimum cutting height of 3 inches. Cutting your lawn too short in our southern climate will increase the likelihood that your lawn will be scorched by the sun. Remember, do not rake newly seeded lawns. Do not fertilize in hot weather.
2. Sodded Lawns. Water, water and more water. Sod must be kept moist until the sod is well established. I repeat: Sod must be kept moist until the sod is well established. This is critical. The roots of the sod need to grow into the soil which usually takes 3-4 weeks. Once the turf begins to grow you can decrease watering to 2-3 times a week. Hopefully, you purchased an irrigation system or are in the process of installing one. If you haven’t already installed one beforehand, the best time to install one is in the first 2 weeks after the sod is installed. The installers can simply pull back the sod and dig for the water lines instead of having to destroy strips of it around your yard. If you are dragging the hose/sprinkler around you will need to leave it in the same spot for 1 hour or until the ground is fully saturated.
Do not forget that your lawn needs to be fertilized and/or limed. Do not fertilize in hot weather, and always water after applying fertilizer.
3. Trees and Shrubs. Water every other day for the first week, and then once a week if the temperatures are below 85 degrees, twice a week if above 85 degrees. Do not simply sprinkle the top of the mulch, leaves, or pine straw; make sure you are soaking the plants at the base. Watering of your shrubs should continue through the fall. Trees need 5 gallons of water per week, more if it is hot. Shrubs and trees will need pruning and fertilizing.
Remember, most builders do not warrant landscaping. You must invest the time and effort to make the exterior of your home as beautiful as the interior. Some subdivisions have homeowner’s associations (HOAs) that require a certain level of yard maintenance. Make sure you are familiar with your HOA covenants and restrictions (CCRs) to avoid nasty letters in the mail detailing your violations. CCRs are created to help protect your investment!
Have a question about home maintenance? Need a quote or referral for repair or maintenance needs? Contact Construction Woman!