Watering New Grass Seed

Starting a lawn from seed is a satisfying way to upgrade your front or backyard. It's also highly economical. However, there are a few guidelines that must be followed in order to successfully germinate grass seed. Explore the best way to water a newly seeded lawn so that lush grass is the result.

1. Begin With Soil Preparation

The healthiest plants grow in soil that's properly prepared. Loosen the soil and fertilize it as necessary. This tip is important for both whole lawns or just patchy areas. Grass seed needs loose soil so that its delicate roots can stretch deep and far.

Ideally, water the ground to about 6 or 8 inches deep a few days before planting the seeds. The soil now has the right texture, nutrients and moisture to foster grass seed germination. Neglecting any of these steps can lead to failed growth and no lawn.

2. Choose the Proper Watering Tools

Using just a water hose on the soil can lead to trouble once you spread the grass seed. Watering new grass seed requires the right tools. You might use a sprinkler set in a strategic position, for instance. A soaker hose may be another option, but use it sparingly. These hoses may give too much moisture to the seeds. Ideally, you want a fixture that gives off a fine spray so that the seeds and soil are evenly coated with moisture. In the end, it's the water that encourages growth and longevity.

3. Select the Time of Year

Properly watering grass seed is a careful balance between saturating the ground and fighting excessive evaporation. Ideally, select a time of year that's not too hot, such as the fall or spring. Sow the seeds during this time period so that you can water with relative success.

Take into account the type of grass being sown too. There are warm- and cold-season varieties that rely on the right time of year to grow. Select seed that's ready to grow so that your watering strategy has the best chance at germinating grass.

4. Inspect the Surroundings

Watering frequency also depends on the lawn's surroundings. An area that has full sun for most of the day will benefit from deep water penetration. Natural evaporation and absorption will take place in these conditions.

Deep shade, however, poses a problem. Watering the area might result in puddles and microbe growth. Grass seed might slough into clumps or wash away altogether. Reduce the amount of shade across the grass to improve germination and overall growth. Grass seed prefers full sun.

5. Water Immediately After Seeding

Immediately after spreading the grass seed, water the area for up to 10 minutes. Although the soil was already primed with moisture a few days ago, it's probably absorbed much of the water. This extra watering soaks the seeds and promptly fits them into their rightful place. To a certain extent, the seeds sink into the ground so that they can make a stable home and grow upward.

6. Create a Watering Schedule

After you’ve sown grass seed, water it twice a day. Create a watering schedule that works for the plants and your daily life. Ideally, water the seeds each morning and evening. Although this schedule sounds like a lot of water for such little seeds, they do demand it.

In fact, every seed will grow at a slightly different rate. The water is necessary to get every seed germinated and growing strong. Keep up with this watering schedule for several weeks because grass seed can take up to 30 days to germinate in some cases.

7. Consider Natural Rainfall

Watering grass seedlings is simple when you're in control of the moisture. However, rainfall must be part of your calculations too. Consider a rain gauge for your yard if measurable precipitation is in the forecast. The gauge tells you how much rain has actually fallen on your lawn. Subtract this amount from the maximum volume that you apply on a weekly basis. If you account for the rain in your manual watering, the grass seed will have a nice balance of moisture. Overwatering will only lead to dead patches and possible microbe growth, including fungi and moss.

8. Calculate Watering Depth

A clever strategy for each morning and evening watering event involves soil depth. Grass seed has a good chance at sprouting when the top 2 inches of soil are saturated with each watering session. Use a dowel or screwdriver as a measuring tool. Press it into the soil where you just watered. The tool should move with ease in the ground when the topsoil is saturated. With some practice, you might be able to gauge how much water is necessary without using these tools.

9. Observe the Seeded Area

As you water each day, pay attention to the ground. It should absorb the water with ease. If you notice puddles or dry areas, try to solve these issues right away. Grass seed cannot germinate under harsh conditions. The soil may need to be amended in order to fix these issues. The effort is worth it because grass seed can flourish in almost any area with the right mixture of nutrient-dense soil and water.

10. Alter Watering Patterns in Time

As the grass seed grows tall, begin to decrease the amount of water applied in the evening. Over a few weeks, alter the watering pattern until you're only performing this task in the morning hours. The grass benefits from infrequent and deeper watering at this point so that the roots grow farther down. As the morning watering becomes the norm, you should apply about 1 inch of water each week to the grass seed.

If you need help with grass seed watering or other yard upgrades, the right products and know-how from Swan Hose will assist you. Planting your own lawn can lead to years of beauty surrounding a home that's filled with joy.

For more information on watering grass, read the following articles:

Best Time to Water Grass

What Are the Best Ways to Water a Lawn?


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