Last updated on October 23rd, 2023 at 08:51 pm
A common question gardeners ask is when the lawn can be walked on for the first time after seeding. After all, the goal should be to maintain the highest quality lawn possible. However, if the lawn is stepped on too soon, it can cause serious damage. How to deal with fresh seeding depends on several factors. Among other things, it depends on whether you are sowing a seed or have laid a sod.
Therefore, here is an overview that explains in more detail how you should handle new turf and whether it is safe to walk on.
During the first four weeks is the period in which neither the children nor the pets should enter the newly growing lawn.
What can happen if the lawn is walked on too early?
Actually, you might think that the lawn should not be damaged if you walk on it shortly after sowing. After all, the seeds are under the soil and when you walk on the soil you are not directly affecting it.
However, this is not true. Because even if you just walk on the soil you can influence the growth and health of the sprouts. After all, you have scarified the soil before sowing and it is therefore very loose. If you now walk on the loosened soil, it will become compacted. As a result, the germs receive less oxygen and, in addition, the footprints can become more deeply imprinted in the soil. The lawn then grows unclean and overall the result is a poorer overall appearance.
However, this does not mean that you cannot walk on the lawn at all. After all, you will also need to water it and other maintenance tasks may also be pending.
Walking on the lawn during germination
How long the lawn takes to germinate depends on the variety and general conditions, among other things. This can take anywhere from one week to a little over three weeks.
During this phase, it is important that the lawn is optimally cared for. This includes ensuring that it is sufficiently watered. If you have a large lawn, it is inevitable that you will walk on it.
However, you can be a little more careful about this. For example, it is better if you do not walk directly on the lawn, but distribute the weight over a larger area. To do this, you can take, for example, wooden boards or slats that you can use as aids. Walk on these slats then the weight is distributed over a larger area and affects the lawn less. This way you can water the lawn without damaging it.
In the case of rolled turf, the grace period can be reduced somewhat. Here it makes sense to give the lawn at least two weeks to grow well with the soil. After that, you can slowly increase the load and the lawn should be able to withstand normal foot traffic.
The first mowing of the lawn
When the lawn has grown long enough and the first cut is set, walking on it with boards or other auxiliary structures is neither suitable for everyday use nor really necessary.
Now you can safely walk on the lawn while mowing it. The prerequisite for this is that the lawn is long enough and strong. From a length of 10 to 15 centimeters, the first cut is recommended. The first cut should not be too short yet. A length of 8 centimeters is quite sufficient. In the second cut you can then achieve a length of 6 centimeters.
In this way, the lawn will get a very strong root system and will not run the risk of quickly giving up the ghost in future loads.
At the beginning, however, you should allow the lawn some grace period and not yet fully load it.
So when the lawn can be walked on for the first time after sowing cannot be answered in a general way. This depends on the growth of the lawn and the first cut.
Making full use of the lawn
If you have children in the household, they probably can’t wait to play on the new lawn and really let off steam. Even if the children are not yet very heavy and you might assume that the load on the lawn would be quite bearable, you should still be careful. Playing and other stresses can take their toll on the new lawn.
Likewise, barbecues and other events where the lawn is used should be avoided.
Only after a period of about 2 months is the lawn so strong that it may be fully loaded. However, you should also assess for yourself what loads the lawn can be expected to bear.
Do not walk on the lawn during frost
Another restriction exists not only for freshly seeded lawns, but also in winter when there is frost. If the temperature is around 0°C and the lawn has been exposed to frost during the night, then you should not walk on the lawn during the day.
The blades are very weak and brittle due to the cold temperatures. If you were to walk on the lawn now, the blades of grass may break and have difficulty recovering. Therefore, you should avoid walking on the lawn for the most part in the winter.
With these tips, you give the lawn enough time to optimally prepare for the coming load and you can be happy with the lawn in the long run. If you are too impatient and tread on the lawn too soon, it can take a big hit and you may have to reseed. To avoid this, however, the tips provided here should hopefully help.