You’ve invested time, energy, and even money into seeding your lawn and now you want to be sure that it’s going to perform. You want it to come up thick and green, and do its job of crowding out weeds. While you may have even used a professional service for aeration and overseeding, now it’s on you to do the watering and you want to be sure you do it right. You don’t want to have wasted your time or money and you want to know exactly how to water grass seed in order to achieve success.
If you’re stressing about getting watering done right, here are some important things that you should know about how to water grass in a new lawn.
Why Do I Need to Water my Grass Seed?
Grass seed requires moisture and the proper soil temperature in order to start growing. Interrupting the process with dry spells will cause poor germination. New seedlings need to grow mature roots to survive, and that won’t happen if the soil is dry.
We find that there are also a number of misconceptions about how to water grass that lead folks astray.
Here are some common misconceptions, as well as the truth.
- Nature will provide for my grass seed. That’s rarely the case. It may not rain at the optimum times for your grass seed to get the most out of the soaking. It also tends to rain far less than folks realize. Even the type of rainfall matters. Was it a quick downpour or a long soaking rain?
- I can water my lawn with a hose. For the amount of water your lawn needs, it would be exhausting to try and do it all by hand with a hose. Nobody wants to stand around for an hour watering their lawn. Even if you don’t have a professional irrigation system, a sprinkler is going to be needed and will likely need to be moved around if it doesn’t cover the entire span of your seeded area.
- Watering is a once and done job. It really shouldn’t be if you want to give your new grass seed the best possible start. Watering several times a day, if you’re able, is ideal in the beginning for new seeds to germinate.
How to Water Grass Seed
As you set out to start watering your grass seed, make sure that you have the right equipment. A sprinkler (preferably with impact heads that allow you to make fine adjustment to where the water is going) is going to be the most effective tool. The idea is to have a light, soaking rain, that doesn’t just run off.
Make sure you also have enough hose to reach out into your yard. And timers can be helpful if you won’t be home all day.
In terms of the best time to water, morning is ideal, particularly if the night temperatures are over 65 degrees, as moisture and heat can lead to fungal growth. It’s okay to water on a fall evening if the temperatures will be dropping but springtime evenings are typically too warm.
How Much to Water Grass Seed
When it comes to how much to water grass seed, the amounts vary depending on the stage of your grass. Let’s look at before and after germination, as well as within the first year, as the grass seed has very different needs at these stages.
Prior to germination, you must keep the seed moist for the first couple of weeks. This will allow it to start germinating. You don’t want to completely drench it, but it should stay consistently moist. This may mean watering a couple of times a day in order to keep the seed from drying out. A good rule of thumb would be two to three times per day for about 15 to 20 minutes each time.
Once your seeds germinate, you’ll be able to water less often but will need to deliver more water to penetrate deeper into the soil where roots are developing. A good rule of thumb would be three times per week at 45 minutes to 60 minutes each time. You want to ensure that the soil is getting moist even several inches down under the surface, in order to drive root growth for your new seedlings.
During the First Year
Though you can back off on watering as often as you did in those early stages, it’s important to recognize that new grass is more prone to drought damage because its roots aren’t as deep. You want to make sure that new grass receives approximately one to two inches of water each week on average. The hotter it is, the more water that’s going to be needed.
Working with Mother Nature
Of course, with all of these timing scenarios, you can also factor Mother Nature into account. The Lehigh Valley gets a slightly higher than average amount of rainfall, but it’s still often less than most people think. If you’re counting on rain to water your lawn, you must make a point to recognize how much rain your lawn is actually getting from Mother Nature. Rainfall totals can be measured with a rain gage. Of course, as mentioned, the kind of rain is also important. One inch of downpour may not be as much benefit as one inch of steady rain due to the runoff that occurs. Make sure that you’re supplementing when Mother Nature alone is not enough.
Working with a Lawn Care Professional
While you’re responsible for watering your lawn, the lawn care company that you work with is also there for guidance when you have questions about how to water grass seed. They can help advise you as to whether your lawn is getting enough water or not.
The decisions you make for your lawn are important and can make a huge difference in the success of its growth. Choosing wisely when it comes to professional lawn care is also important. When you need guidance or assistance with services, we’re here to help.
We know that you care about the investment you’ve made in your lawn, but you don’t always have all the answers when it comes to what it needs. That’s why we’re always available to answer questions about how to water grass or any other concerns you may have regarding your lawn or trees.
If you’d like to learn more about seeding or other lawn care services at your Allentown, Bethlehem, or Easton, PA lawn, feel free to contact us for a free consultation or give us a call at 610-365-2200.