Eco-Lawn™ Coverage Rates and Installation Tips

Eco-Lawn™ Coverage Rates and Installation Tips

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Installation Tips

Recommended Seeding Rates

We recommend using 5 lbs. of Eco-Lawn™ seed per 1,000 sq. ft. of area, which is equivalent to 220 pounds per acre.

New Lawns

As with any new seeding, proper soil preparation is the key to success. The area to be planted should be as free of weeds as possible prior to installing new seed.

When to seed?

The ideal time for you to plant your Eco-Lawn™ seed is between late August and late September in the USA and Canada (for the best seeding time in your area please refer to our Seeding Times Chart) . The cool evening temperatures, early morning dews and autumn rains create the perfect conditions for germination and growth. Also, nature has programmed fewer weeds to germinate in fall, so your new Eco-Lawn™ will establish more rapidly, with less weed competition!

Seeding from mid April through mid June is a good second choice. Apply the seed when soil temperatures reach 15°C (60°F). If you spread Eco-Lawn™ seed earlier in the spring, it will not germinate until the soil temperature reaches 15°C (60°F).

Please note that most weeds germinate in spring and early summer and this will inevitably result in some weed competition with your Eco-Lawn™. Weeds will grow much faster and they can sometimes out-compete spring planted seedings. Once your Eco-Lawn™ is about 3 inches tall, you can combat those weeds with a variety of organic methods including:

  1. Regular mowing which will prevent any weeds growing from forming seeds.
  2. Using an organic pre-emergent herbicide such as corn meal gluten (Note: You cannot use corn meal gluten within 5 weeks of sowing new Eco-Lawn™ seed.)
  3. Easiest of all, overseed with fresh Eco-Lawn™ seed in spring or fall to crowd out weeds.
  4. Once your Eco-Lawn™ is at least three months old you can, if you choose, also use traditional weed killers such as weed 'n feed and selective herbicides that contain 2-4-D if these are permitted where you reside. PLEASE NOTE: WEED ' FEED AND OTHER NON-ORGANIC HERBICIDES ARE ILLEGAL IN ALBERTA, ONTARIO   QUEBEC.

When your Eco-Lawn™ is fully mature, it becomes allelopethic which means that the grass itself emits a natural, pre-emergent herbicide that prevents other plants (weeds) from germinating!

Watering your Eco-Lawn™

Spring seedings will require watering daily for 15-30 minutes unless the soil is already damp. Water early in the morning only to prevent possible fungal diseases caused by late afternoon and evening watering. Keep the area slightly damp, not soggy. Once the newly planted area greens up, watering can be cut back to every 2 to 5 days depending on your soil type and weather conditions. Please note that if you experience drought conditions in the first year of growth, you will need to water your new Eco-Lawn™ during the first season of growth. Once Eco-Lawn™ has gone through a full season, your watering regime will change dramatically. In hot, dry climates such as parts of California or Texas your watering will be cut back by 75% over that of traditional, shallow rooted turfs. In most parts of North America your established Eco-Lawn™ will require no watering except in extreme drought conditions.

Sowing Eco-Lawn™ under large trees

While Eco-Lawn™ will germinate and grow under large trees, please remember that it is a virtual drought under those trees (trees need and take a lot of water!), so for the first full growing season, after the initial germination period, please continue to water your Eco-Lawn™ deeply under the "drip line" of the trees on a weekly basis. This will encourage the deep roots that Eco-Lawn™ develops to dig down deep. By next year, you should not need to water under the trees at all as your Eco-Lawn™ will be able to compete with the trees for the water that nature provides. Leaves from trees should be removed in the fall. Mowing them with a mulching mower is the easiest method. The nutrients from the mulched leaves are all the fertilizer your Eco-Lawn™ should need.

Sowing Eco-Lawn™ seed

Apply the seed at the rate listed on the bag. For small areas you may sow by hand. For urban or suburban sized lawns use a fertilizer spreader set at about half- way open and apply the seed in two passes using half the Eco-Lawn™ seed per pass - one at right angles to the other in a crisscross pattern for complete coverage. You should see approximately 12 - 15 seeds in a square inch (approximately 2.5 x 2.5 cm). Next, use an empty lawn roller to press the seed in to the soil or raking lightly with a leaf rake. Grass seed needs firm "seed to soil contact" to germinate and should be covered by no more than 7mm (¼") of soil (If the seed is buried any deeper than this, it will have trouble emerging from the soil. Burying the seed is a common reason for poor lawn establishment.)

For large areas, Eco-Lawn™ may be installed via hydro-seeding or by mechanical planters.

After sowing Eco-Lawn™

Eco-Lawn™ germinates in 7 - 14 days (it is quick to germinate and then slow to grow). During the first few weeks, keep as much traffic off the seedbed as possible. The tender, emerging shoots of your Eco-Lawn™ will not withstand much wear and tear. Once the grass has grown up to 4-5 inches (10-12 cm), you can begin cutting it if you choose to do so. This should be after about 4- 6 weeks of growth. If you feel that you need to apply a weed control, wait until at least 6 weeks after seeding. If you have some patches that aren't as thick as the rest, they may not have received enough seed. Don't be afraid to overseed these areas. The longer they stay bare, the more likely that weeds will encroach onto your lawn.

Mowing Eco-Lawn™

The reason you don't need to mow Eco-Lawn™ often is because it grows very slowly. If you prefer a traditional "cropped lawn look," occasional mowing will be necessary, but far less frequently than with other lawn mixtures. Ensure that your mower has sharp blades to prevent damage to the grass. A mulching mower works best. Set your mower to a minimum 3 inch (7.5 cm) height. Mowing lower than 3 inches (7.5 cm) will cause damage to your Eco-Lawn™ as it, like all plants, needs to go through the process of photosynthesis in order to live. Never remove more than one third of the top growth. Mowing too short will damage the turf and reduce its vigor. One of the most common lawn problems is people mowing their lawns too short!

Left unmown, your Eco-Lawn™ turfgrass will form a gentle, flowing carpet of grass.

Converting existing lawns to Eco-Lawn™

If you have an existing traditional lawn and wish to convert to a low maintenance Eco-Lawn™ you have a few options:

Organic Conversion:

For a quick conversion you can apply an organic herbicide to your old lawn. There are now a number of food based organic herbicides on the market. Many kill plants in as little as three hours. Read the label carefully! Once your old lawn is dead, mow the dead grass as short as possible and then roughen the area by hard raking it. Then seed the area with Eco-Lawn™ or you can simply seed directly into the dead grass of your old lawn. If you opt to seed directly into the dead grass, please note that it will take about 8 weeks for your new Eco-Lawn™ to cover up the old dead grass and that your lawn will look brown during this period.

Alternatively, strip off the old lawn to a depth of 2 1/2 - 3 inches and remove it entirely. Then either lightly rototill the existing soil or give it a hard raking to create a seed bed. Then spread the seed, rake it into the soil and if possible, roll it flat with a lawn roller.

Another method is smother your existing lawn with 4 inches of new soil. This will kill off the old lawn underneath and you can simply spread your Eco-Lawn™ seed onto the new soil, rake it in and roll it. Please note that the drawback to this method is that when you purchase new soil, you have also just purchased someone else's weeds! You'll need to combat those weeds as described above.

Non-Organic Conversion:

You may also kill your existing lawn with a non-organic herbicide such as Round Up or WipeOut (if you choose this option - Please read the label first!. PLEASE NOTE: THESE CHEMICAL HERBICIDES ARE ILLEGAL IN ALBERTA, ONTARIO   QUEBEC. ). Round UP take about two weeks to achieve the full effect. Once your old lawn is dead, mow the dead grass as short as possible and then roughen the area by hard raking it. Then seed the area with Eco-Lawn™ or you can simply seed directly into the dead grass of your old lawn. If you opt to seed directly into the dead grass, please note that it will take about 8 weeks for your new Eco-Lawn™ to cover up the old dead grass and that your lawn will look brown during this period.

Over-seeding Existing Lawns

Simply over-seeding an existing lawn with Eco-Lawn™ will not result in an instant conversion to a low maintenance Eco-Lawn™ as your existing lawn will continue to grow. However, if you were to over-seed your old lawn each and every year for four to five years, it will become a true Eco-Lawn™. In the meantime, you will need to regularly mow the existing lawn. So while this method will work, it does take time, patience and annual re-seeding.

Slopes

On steep, erosion prone slopes, Eco-Lawn™ should be mixed with with an annual rye nurse crop for rapid soil stabilization. When planting on slopes in the fall, plant no later than September 15th, to ensure sufficient growth of the nurse crop to hold the soil. On gentle slopes with no real potential for soil erosion, seeding with Eco-Lawn™ alone is fine.

Dormant fall seedings

In northern climates seeding Eco-Lawn™ via a late season "dormant seeding" can be done very successfully. Careful soil preparation, weed control and good timing are essential with dormant fall plantings. The seeds should be planted in the late fall or early winter after a couple of hard frosts but before the ground is frozen. Seed planted in late October through December will germinate early the following spring. If there is any chance of erosion, a dormant seeding is never recommended. Planted in fall, your new lawn will grow rapidly the following spring.

Maintaining your Eco-Lawn™

Once your Eco-Lawn™ is established, you'll only need to water it during extremely dry periods, if at all. If you feel that you do need to water it, occasional thorough soakings are better than frequent light sprinklings This encourages deep root growth, and makes your turf more drought-tolerant. Fertilizer should be applied sparingly, if at all, in early spring or late summer only.

Slow-release, balanced fertilizers with nearly equal portions of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium are best. This encourages strong root development to keep your turf healthy without excessive top growth that requires mowing. With minimal fertilizing and watering, you'll reap the benefits of reduced maintenance, lower costs and a healthier environment!

A thick healthy lawn is the best defense against weeds, disease, drought and insect damage. Over-seeding your Eco-Lawn™ on a yearly basis (again early spring or Labour Day weekend is ideal) will foster new growth and keep your Eco-Lawn™ thick and healthy. Over-seeding will also quickly repair a lawn that is thin and patchy from winter damage, damage from insects or other damage.

For more information please see our Eco-Lawn™ F.A.Q. page

Recommended Seeding Rates

We recommend using 5 lbs. of Eco-Lawn™ seed per 1,000 sq. ft. of area, which is equivalent to 220 pounds per acre.

More Eco-Lawn™ Information

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