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Watering for Newly Seeded Lawns

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How Often to Water New Grass Seed

Before you cast out new grass seed, it’s important to start with watering. Nature designed seeds to respond to moisture, so it makes perfect sense that watering grass seed properly is imperative to kick-start the germination process that results in healthy growth. 

  • Several days before planting your new seed, water the area to a depth of 6 to 8 inches. Measuring the depth of water penetration is easy! Simply insert a long screw driver into the ground. If it pushes down 6 to 8 inches without much resistance, you have the proper water saturation.​

  • Water new grass seed for 5 to 10 minutes immediately after planting to gently moisten the first several inches of soil.

  • You’ll want to maintain moisture in the seeding area from this point on. Remember that if the seeds are allowed to dry out, they will die.

  • How often to water new grass seed really depends on the amount of rainfall your region will get after seeding.

  • If you’re not receiving any rainfall, you’ll want to water new grass seed twice per day until the top couple inches of soil are moist.

Best Time to Water New Grass Seed

The best time to water grass seed is in the morning and evening. These are the coolest parts of the day, which allows water to absorb into the ground instead of evaporating. A water timer can simplify the process of when to water grass seeds, so you can easily and efficiently water your newly seeded lawn with no hassle at all.

How to water new grass seed depends on the area you’ve seeded. Large areas can benefit from the use of a quality rectangular sprinkler. Use a small spot sprinkler for smaller seeded areas.

How Long to Water New Grass Seed

How long to water new grass seed depends on your soil conditions and your sprinkler setup. In general, ten minutes of watering per session (morning and evening) will provide enough water to keep the top couple inches of soil moist.

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. When watering grass seedlings, gradually increase your morning watering sessions over time, while decreasing your evening watering. Eventually, you’ll want to water between 6 and 10 am, while the weather is still cool. An established lawn typically requires about 1 inch of water per week, including rainfall.

Use the chart below to help you plan out your ideal watering schedule:

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Watering For a Healthy Lawn

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For healthy turf and landscape, deep and infrequent watering maintains a healthy root system and reduces weed infestations. Applying 1 – 1.5 inches of water per week is often difficult to achieve in a single watering. Therefore, smaller amounts of water applied every other day, no more than 2-3 days a week, is recommended to allow water to soak into the soil without causing runoff.

Your landscape also needs sufficient water. Trees & Shrubs need moist—but not saturated—soil to stay healthy. Infrequent, deep watering encourages deep root growth and discourages mildew, fungi, and disease.

To measure the amount of water being applied, place rain gauges or several flat bottom pie plates or cans (tuna cans work well) around the lawn. These should all catch the same amount, indicating even watering coverage. 

Watering ½ to ¾ of an inch, 2-3 times per week, is generally sufficient. In times of excessive drought, higher amounts of water may be needed to keep fescue or bluegrass from going dormant. Do not water every day as this causes turf grass plants to have a shallow root system. A good schedule would be Monday and Thursday for a 2-day schedule, or Monday, Wednesday, and Friday for a 3-day schedule. Water between the hours of 4 AM – 7 AM when evaporation loss is lowest and temperatures are the coolest.

Always feel free to call our office with any questions.

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