When and How to Water New Grass Seed

The PropertyClub Team
Nov 12th 2020
Anyone who has ever done lawn work can tell you that properly watering newly planted grass seed is a crucial step in growing and maintaining a healthy lawn. But when should you water your new lawn, and how exactly do you do it?

When to Water Your New Grass Seed

You actually need to start watering your lawn before you start laying down new grass seed. A couple of days before you plant your lawn, soak your lawn in approximately 6-8 inches of water. This will moisten up the soil and help it breathe, meaning it will take up the seeds better. 

After laying down grass seed, your lawn will need copious amounts of water to make sure the seed takes root and germinates. Thus, you should water your lawn relatively frequently right after you lay down seed. Experts recommend watering a newly laid lawn about two times daily, once in the morning and again in the afternoon. You need to keep this consistent watering schedule up for at least two weeks until the new grass seed firmly takes root and starts to grow. 

Should I Water Grass Seed in the Morning or at Night?

The best time of day to water your newly sod lawn is in the early morning between 6 AM-10 AM before the sun reaches the highest point of the day. Watering in the early morning is a good idea because there is less wind to blow the water and less sunlight, so it does not evaporate before being absorbed. Watering in the morning also helps keep your grass wet and protected from the scorching midday sun.

Is it OK to Water New Grass Seed at Night?

Watering new grass seed at night is a bad idea and puts your lawn at risk as many diseases and fungi thrive in damp conditions. It will take longer for your grass to dry at night due to the lack of sunlight.

How Often Do I Need to Water New Grass Seed?

You might be tempted to use a new grass sprinkler to water your new seed. While this can be a good idea if you have a huge lawn, it’s not such a good idea if you have a small yard. It is hard to regulate how much water comes out of a sprinkler, and you do not want to overwater your new lawn. 

So we recommend watering manually by a hose. This will allow you to get even coverage of your yard and also control exactly how much water gets laid down. Go through your lawn by section and spray water on it for 10-15 seconds. You should repeat this process about twice a day for the first few weeks until the grass takes root and starts to grow. Ideally, your newly laid lawn should get about 3”4” of water twice per day. 

Keep in mind that if you are in a colder climate or have cool-season grass, then it does not need as much water. Conversely, if you are watering during the summer and have warm-season grass, your lawn might need more water. Soil conditions also affect how much water your lawn needs. 

You can tell if your grass is properly watered by taking a small screw and pushing it into the soil. If it comes out moist, then the water is deep enough, and your lawn should have enough water.

Can New Grass Seed Be Overwatered?

Yes, new grass seed can be overwatered. Too much water can drown the seedlings before they germinate or wash them away. Too much water can also move soil and bury the seeds, effectively choking them off from sunlight and nutrients. So while you don’t want to be skimpy with how much water you apply, you do not want to overdo it either. 

You can tell you are overwatering your lawn if puddles start to form or if the soil becomes soggy and waterlogged. Ideally, the soils should be moist and soft, but not actively wet. If your soil is too wet, then fungi could take hold, which can ruin your grass seed and lawn. Fungal problems can get bad enough that they require professional removal. 

It depends on the kind of grass you have and soil conditions, but most grass seed will fully grow in about 2-3 weeks. Once the grass blades reach about 3-4 inches tall, you can stop with the daily watering schedule and mow it for the first time. After the first mowing, reduce watering to about 1 inch every few days. You do not want to cut your grass before then as mowing a new lawn too early can pull the grass up and damage your lawn.  

A vibrant green lawn not only looks great but also helps with drainage, cooling, and landscaping issues. New grass seed requires a consistent watering schedule to grow properly, so you need to stay on top of it. A regular watering schedule is the key to having a happy and healthy lawn for you and your family.