WATERING OF NEW LAWNS
One basic landscaping task homeowners often contemplate is re-seeding a dead portion of lawn. Whether it be from construction, drought or even a chemical error, we often help customers with their choice of grass seed and include instructions on how to be successful. The most frequent mistake we see in lawn care and re-seeding and new lawns is incorrect watering of grass seed and new lawns. Take a look at the tips below to keep your new lawn green and lush.
KEEP THE SOIL CONSTANTLY MOIST TO A DEPTH OF 2” – 4” UNTIL THE FIRST CUTTING
- A newly seeded lawn needs to be watered 1 – 3 times a day. The seedbed should be moistened to a depth of 2” – 4”, but not saturated. It is essential that newly seeded lawns are not allowed to dry out. Never let water puddle or run off. It is important in any situation to not apply water faster than it can be absorbed. Remember, even a short dry period can kill germinating seed.
- Once lawn has grown to a 3” length, which could be anywhere from 2 – 4 weeks depending on temperature and seed type, it’s time for the first mowing. Mow using a lightweight mower set with a blade height of 2 ½”. Continue watering at a rate of 1” - 1 ½” of water weekly for the next 3 mowings, then treat as an established lawn. Keep in mind maintenance and fertilization will keep your lawn looking beautiful.
- It is OK to water anytime of the day or night. There will, of course, be less evaporation if the watering is done during a time of day that is not hot or windy. Some people feel that there is a danger of burning tender grass if watering is done in hot sunny weather. We have found this to be untrue. You should water extra heavy in hot, dry weather.
- Protect your investment, get good quality sprinklers and plenty of good quality hose. With proper care both will last for years.
For a rough guideline, here is what we recommend as minimum equipment to sprinkle a typical 10,000 sq. ft. lot:
- 2 adjustable oscillating sprinklers
- 1 - 50 ft. soaker hose
- enough hose to reach the furthest corner of the front & rear lawns simultaneously
- 2 timers
- 2 small plastic shut-offs to place between the hose and the sprinkler (these make it easy to change sprinkler positions)
Never water by hand if you can use a sprinkler. Not many people have the time or patience to hold a sprinkler hose for as long as is usually necessary.
When setting sprinklers, start with the furthest corner of the yard. Moving of the sprinkler may then be accomplished by pulling on the hose rather than walking in the freshly watered area.
Be sure that the corners and edges are thoroughly watered. Overlap so that there are no gaps in the areas being watered. Pay particular attention to areas along sidewalks, driveways and paved areas as they retain heat and withdraw moisture.
Use timers to shut water off at night or any time it cannot be turned off manually. This will permit extra sprinkling settings without tying you down so much.