This post was originally publised on 9/3/19 and updated on 5/24/21.
So you want the best, greenest lawn on the block. You’ve taken the time and money to prepare the lawn with new grass seed (& maybe even aerated before seeding), but now what? To ensure these resources do not go to waste, it’s important to properly care for the newly laid grass seed. You might be wondering “how often and how much water should I give my newly seeded lawn?”. Well wonder no longer! Today we’re sharing our top tips for watering new grass seed.
The first couple weeks after seeding are the most crucial ones, for this is the time where the seeds will germinate and begin to establish their root system. During this stage, it’s imperative that the seeded area stays moist. If the seeds are allowed to dry out, they will die.
Let’s preface this guide by saying that these are general guidelines to follow when watering a newly seeded lawn. Please take into consideration your environmental conditions. For example, if you receive a heavy rain, you won’t want to water the lawn that day. There definitely is such a thing as too much water.
We recommend a sprinkler and water timer system to ensure even watering throughout the newly seeded lawn.
When and how much water do I give my newly seeded lawn?
If using a sprinkler system…
For the first 10 days, run the sprinkler system twice a day for 20-30 minutes (1-2 inches of water) each time. The top inch of soil should stay moist at all times during the germination process.
HOT TIP: As your new grass seed grows and flourishes, you can water deeper and less frequently – this will encourage established grass roots to extend deeply into the soil.
If using a hose…
ensure that you are using a hose head with the option for a light spray. You do not want to use a heavy stream when watering new grass seed, as it could displace seeds.
HOT TIP: Always move the hose after watering! You want to make sure that the hose is never left in one spot on the grass for too long as it will interfere with its growth, which overtime will leave an unsightly line of bare ground among your lush grass.
Consider purchasing a water timer
When using a water timer to water new grass seed, you are eliminating much of the human error that can occur. Never again miss watering your lawn because you are late coming home for the office or you want to go on a weekend getaway! We recommend setting the timer to go off in early morning and late afternoon when the temperatures are cooler. This will ensure that the water absorbs into the ground, rather than be evaporated during the hottest points of the day. The simple purchase of a timer will ensure you efficiently water the lawn with no hassle at all.
You don’t want all that water you’re giving your new grass to just evaporate. You need to ensure that it seeps into the ground for the roots to soak up. Whether you’re using a sprinkler or watering the old-fashioned way by hand, it’s always best to water in the mornings and evenings (this applies to all your other plants too). Day temperatures are the coolest during these times, which helps prevent evaporation.
Applying a thin layer of straw mulch to the newly seeded areas will also reduce evaporation from the soil surface.
A typical established lawn needs at least 1”-1 ½” of water per week, year-round, during the winter, too.Water deeply 2-3 times per week, rather than daily.
With these tips, watering new grass seed will be a breeze.
Follow the suggestions, and you should see great rates of seed germination and grass growth.