Sowing new grass seeds is an exciting spring activity for avid gardeners, but for beginners who dream of a beautiful green lawn, it can be challenging to get everything right.
When is the best time to sow the seeds and how should you prep the lawn?
What should you do to the soil, which fertiliser to use, and how often to water new grass seed?
It can become overwhelming quickly, but luckily, with this guide, you'll know exactly how much water to use and what time of day is best to turn on the sprinklers.
Read on to learn the basics of watering grass and taking care of your fresh new lawn.
How Often To Water Grass Seeds
To learn how often to water grass seed after germination, you should learn all about the type of soil and grass seeds you're using. This is why the frequency and amount of watering is relative to your lawn care and there's no one uniform answer to this question.
In gardening, there are things you learn only by trying and iterating. In the beginning, aim to water the seeds at least twice a day - once in the early morning and once in the early evening or until you reach at least 6 inches of soil moist.
Depending on the climate in your area and the soil drainage, you may need to water in different intervals.
How Long To Water Grass Seeds
The timeframe for watering grass, in yards or gardens, again depends on the climate, type of grass, soil type, soil drainage, soil treatment, and many other factors. If you live in an area with plenty of rainfall, you won't need additional watering after it's rained.
If the area is going through a drought, you'll need to water for longer periods of time to make sure you water every single patch properly. If it's too hot outside and the soil dries quickly after watering, you may need to water it some more to make sure the water reaches the seeds.
In normal weather conditions, aim to water for at least 5-10 minutes either with a lawn sprinkler system or manually, stop watering once the surface is wet and stays wet, but not soaked.
Can You Overwater the Lawn?
The short answer is: yes, you can overwater the lawn and cause the grass to rot in the roots. When the soil drainage is not very good, the water will remain inside causing the seed to drown and the root system to rot.
Another instance of overwatering can occur if you live in a climate with a lot of rain that naturally provides water to the lawn, but you still use the sprinklers.
The type of soil can also be a factor in overwatering. For example, clay soil will retain water differently than sandy soil. This is why it's best to inspect the type of soil you have, treat it with fertilisers or (rootzone) topsoil if needed, and prepare the lawn for sowing to improve the soil quality.
Once you sow the seeds, you should observe how the soil retains water after the sprinklers were on or after manual watering. If the water puddles stay on the surface and don’t filter away, it's a sign you're watering too much. If there are no puddles but the soil remains wet for days, it's another sign you're using too much water.
The water should reach 6-8 inches of soil in depth to ensure all the seeds stay moist.
What To Avoid When Watering New Grass Seeds
Like with any first time gardening effort, there are some things you should avoid and be careful with when watering brand new grass seeds. Here’s how to take care of your new lawn and give the seeds the best chance at germination.
As you imagine how your lawn will look like, you might be excited to water it as often as possible to help the seeds grow. However, this can have the opposite effect as too much water, even if it's not visible on the surface. This will cause the seeds to float and grow unevenly or not grow at all.
Just like you can overwater the grass, you can also underwater it and risk the germination process. The key to how much to water grass seed is in finding balance.
To do this, you need to know exactly what type of grass you have, the type of soil you have, the weather conditions in your area, and the type of fertiliser you used.
If you use sprinklers, make sure they work properly and are not clogged or broken. If you water the seeds manually, move around the lawn areas to make sure each patch gets enough water.
Don't spend too much time on one spot and get a hose with a nozzle to make sure the water spreads as far and as wide as possible.
Prep the Lawn Before Sowing
To grow a beautiful and healthy lawn from seed, it's not enough to just sprinkle the seeds, water them, and hope for the best. If you're a beginner gardener, you should first prep the lawn and the soil to make sure the seeds are moist at all times and have the best environment for growth.
This process includes:
- Removing debris and weeds
- Testing your soil's pH value and raise or lower the levels if needed
- Aerating the soil
- Adding fertiliser and topsoil
- Setting up the sprinkler system
- Choosing the best grass seeds for your lawn
Before you can sow the seeds, water the soil to check its drainage properties. This step will ensure water doesn't stay on top and drown the seeds once you sow them.
Watering Grass Seed Is Easy With These Simple Tips!
Whether you're sowing a brand new lawn or sprucing up your existing one, the journey from seed to beautiful green grass growing depends on how much care and water your lawn gets.
Regular watering can be challenging for new gardeners, so use this guide to help you understand how often you should water your specific lawn.
Ready to get started on your garden and lawn? At Grass Science Seeds, we have a variety of grass seeds in different lengths and types. If you want to sprinkle some wildflowers and attract bees, we have a great choice of wildflower seed mixtures to get you going.