Using the watering can to water your grass may seem simple, but doing it incorrectly can do more harm than good. Different phases of grass growth require varying amounts of water. Pouring too much or too little can malnourish your lawn.
Gardeners planting grass seeds must pour water for about 8 to 10 minutes for the first week. The possibility of pouring too much water must be accounted for as it can wash your new seeds away easily.
Whereas, less water won’t allow the grass seed to absorb sufficient nutrients from the soil.
Watering Grass Seed: Phase 1
Prepare your soil with added fertilizers if required and water the region a week before planting grass seeds. Use a garden hose and double-check to verify that the water has reached at least 6 to 8 inches below. You can insert a screwdriver in the soil to figure out if the deeper layers are wet.
This also prepares the soil to be moist for when the seeds are planted. The seeds can utilize the moisture to consume soil nutrients and eventually sprout. You are doing no more than creating a situation of ideal growing conditions.
If you live in a region that receives heavy rainfall then no need to follow Phase 1.
Watering Grass Seed: Phase 2
A week after first watering the soil, you can now plant the seeds. As soon as the seeds are planted it is imperative to pour water for 5 to 10 minutes. Make sure no seeds are getting displaced. The goal is to reduce the probability of the soil drying out. This is because dryness will kill the seeds.
In case you think that many seeds were displaced, you must resist from planting more seeds immediately. This doubt could lead to overseeding and leave your backyard with unwanted patches of thick grass.
Watering Grass Seed: Phase 3
Now it comes to consistency. The seeds will begin to sprout and are delicate. They require extra nutrients. You have to establish a desirable watering schedule as per your grass seed type. Any change in the soil and environmental conditions can kill the seeds.
The germination period can be anything from 5 to 30 days. Once you begin to notice mild grass budding that means the roots are growing deeper. This means your grass is turning out to be strong and the frequency of watering can be reduced.
Bonus tip: During the start of phase 3 is a good time to identify and eradicate developing weeds in your lawn.
What is the best time to water grass seeds?
The best time to water grass seeds is early morning when it is sunny but not windy. The rays of the sun are not super-hot in the morning and the chance of water evaporation reduces. You want to water your grass seeds with an intention that the water is soaked and not wasted.
Some people may have schedule issues and fail to water their freshly planted grass seeds every day. In this case, the late afternoon would be a good choice. Make sure you do not water after 4 PM.
One can even opt to install an oscillation sprinkler that can be programmed as per the time you want to water the grass seeds.
Try and design a system that focuses on watering “deeply” rather than “frequently”. Although once your seeds have sprouted and the grass is visible, you should create a new watering plan.
When the grass is fully grown and you are expecting the arrival of lawn-mowing days, you can water the area once every 2 or 3 days. Never forget, the motive is to ensure that the soil never dries out.
Watering New Grass Seeds: How much?
There are multiple reasons that new grass seeds may be planted. A gardener may want to cover up some brow patches of grass, cover-up weed-treated regions with new grass, overseeding or reseeding. The watering plan for each of these requirements vary.
Remember, the key is to water your lawn “deeply” rather than “frequently”. However, we will now read about situations where the frequency and area-wise segmenting of watering sessions is prioritized.
Overseeding An Existing Lawn
Overseeding calls for greater amounts of watering. You may be overseeding due to weak grass or unhealthy areas that are infested by external elements. Make sure to water these grass seeds twice a day for about 7 to 10 minutes. Once at the morning and once at early noon.
Most importantly, the rate at which you are watering must not be too high. Water in a manner such that the entire overseeded region is evenly served. Once the new grass begins to bud you can water only once per day.
Covering Brown Patches by Planting New Grass Seed
The same instructions as above work for projects that involve replanting grass seeds on brown patches. As long as the seeds are moist initially, the already-developed surrounding roots will act as a catalyst in distributing nutrients to new seeds.
Depending on the size of the brown patches you may not need a garden hose specifically for the patches. You can follow the daily round-up of watering your lawn and add in 2 extra watering sessions a day only for the patches.
Seeding a New Lawn Area
For the gardeners who have expanded their lawn, don’t forget to perform tilling. Tilling the soil on the expanded region allows the soil to store large amounts of water. The loose soil can go to a great extent in quicker germination cycles for the new grass seeds.
If most of the water has been soaked quickly that means the soil is loose enough. Unnecessarily adding extra water will make your soil spongy. Walking on this spongy soil can choke your seeds. Give it some time for the upper soil layers to become moist. Just be frequent in watering and also overly cautious about over-watering.
Things to Avoid While Watering New Grass Seed
- Never pour extra water on areas that are well-covered in the shade as it can lead to algae formation. On the contrary, they require lesser water than the grass seeds exposed to direct sunlight. Sprinklers can make this problem difficult to deal with.
In such cases, you can let the sprinkler perform its daily routine and use a watering can to water regions exposed to greater sunlight.
- Never pour water in a way that can lead to puddle formations. Firstly, this would lead to grass seed displacement. Eventually turning into a scattered and uneven lawn grass growth pattern.
Secondly, the puddle may not evaporate or get soaked easily. This will choke the seeds that are under that region. Seeds that have developed can also face damage due to their roots craving oxygen supply.
- Never let your sprinklers bail on you. Follow-up for a couple of days and understand whether the watering pattern is well-distributed.
You don’t want to find out that some of the grass seeds never sprouted due to inadequate water supply. Won’t that be a disappointment?
- Do not add an extra thick layer of mulch. A moderately sized layer can do wonders in reducing water evaporation and imparting beneficial nutrients to the young grass seeds.
Never let the mulch dry completely. Once it clumps together, the sprouts can get restricted. Even worse, if the grass seed sprouts out of the clump, it can displace surroundings seeds that haven’t yet placed themselves well.
Also, do not step on soil that has been mulched or is spongy. It anyway takes a reasonable amount of time to dry out. Stepping on it will only leave imprints and call for absurd grass growth on that patch.
Be consistent in watering your grass seeds. Depending on the weather and soil conditions, you can make minor changes in the watering plan.
Work for gardeners never stops. Once your grass is growing healthily, it’s time to study the art of leveling your backyard.