How Often to Water Grass Seed
The age-old question comes with an age-old answer – enough so it grows! Uncle knows that’s not very helpful, so here are a few tips for making sure you water your new seed enough to see excellent results.
Water Frequently and Lightly
The trick to getting grass seed to sprout is to keep it damp until it all germinates. This doesn’t mean flood your lawn with a sprinkler, but it does mean keeping the seed bed consistently damp during the day. Generally, this means to water lightly several times a day to ensure there’s always moisture on the new seed.
Keep an Eye on the Weather
Knowing how often to water the new seed also depends on the weather. On hot and sunny days, you’ll need to water more often to keep the seed bed damp. Wind also dries out the lawn, so you should water more frequently on windy days as well. If it’s sunny, 90 degrees and windy, you should be watering at least 3 times a day. Rain is a great way to get water on new grass seed but be careful! A light rain in the morning will dry out by the afternoon. Make sure the grass seed stays damp the entire day.
Uncle’s Tip: In bare spots that you’ve seeded, make sure to cover the new seed with weed-free Sphagnum Peat Moss or Primera Field Conditioner. These seed dressings help hold the moisture on the seed and help with germination.
How Long Do I Need to Keep Watering Grass Seed?
If you’re keeping the ground consistently moist, you should see grass popping out of the ground in about 7-14 days in ideal conditions (bluegrass seed, like our Blue Wave Bluegrass, could take 14-21 days to germinate). If you don’t see germination in that timeframe, you may not be watering enough, so increase your watering frequency.
The New Grass Is Up, Now What?
After the new grass is out of the ground, you want to start cutting down the times per day that you’re watering. This will start to promote root development by letting the new grass dry out between each watering. As it approaches mower height you should start cutting days out of the watering schedule. Eventually, you should be watering the established grass deeply and infrequently.
How to Water to Promote Deep Roots
Grasses like our Heat Wave or Macho Mix prefer deep, infrequent watering schedules once established. Generally, this means watering heavily a couple times a week. Heavily generally means at least an inch of water per week. Watering heavily and letting the grass dry out between each watering encourages the roots to grow deeper to look for water, and deeper roots will help the plant during times of drought and heat.
Our bluegrass blends, like Blue Wave and Estate Mix, prefer more water than their fescue cousins. Mid-summer when it’s hot and dry anticipate watering a Blue Wave lawn a minimum of three times per week, with more frequent watering in extended periods of heat and drought.
Watering During the Summer
As mentioned earlier, deep and infrequent watering helps the grass develop deep roots. Overwatering during the hot, humid months of summer can also promote fungal disease. Leaving the grass wet overnight is another way to promote disease. If you can, water deeply and infrequently in the mornings before the heat of the day.
Uncle’s Tip: For areas under big, shady trees special attention should be paid to summer watering. The trees turn into bullies during the hot months, sucking 10s or 100s of gallons of water out of the ground every day. Be sure to use Uncle’s Premium Shade grass seed and continue with deep, infrequent watering in shady areas and be sure to let the area underneath trees dry out between each watering to reduce the threat of disease, especially in hot, humid weather.