ensure that it takes root properly and is well established. This is an important time
in the new lawn’s life – the amount of water you provide for it will determine a
number of later features of the lawn. This includes affecting how many seeds
actually sprout, which will determine how dense and lush the lawn will eventually
be. The density of the lawn will affect how susceptible to weeds spreading through
Watering levels also affect how deep the individual grass leaves’ roots will
grow – which will affect how well it can survive droughts and recover from damage.
In addition to establishing well drained soil, frequent watering is one of the most
important factors affecting root growth in new lawns.
If you are planting a new lawn from seed, water it two or three times a day.
You want to ensure that you are watering not only frequently but also deeply: you
want to make sure you are soaking the soil thoroughly to a depth of about six inches
(9 cm). Light watering will produce healthy grass, but it will have shallow, weaker
roots that will not survive drought as well.
If you are watering using a basic oscillating sprinkler, be sure to set an alarm
to remind you to shut it off after about an hour or so. You do not want to run the risk
of overwatering your newly planted grass seed or worse, washing away topsoil by
leaving the sprinkler running overnight.
There are also relatively inexpensive automatic timers that can be attached
to any outdoor spigot and set to water the new seed automatically. This can be an
excellent long-term investment, because it allows you to simply set the timer once
and forget about it. Once your lawn is established after a few weeks, you can adjust
the timer to water more infrequently, and dial it back up in the event of heat waves
Depending on the kind of soil you are planting your new lawn in, you will
have to adjust your watering routine. If the soil in your garden is heavy in clay
content, you will have to water it rather deeply but less often, because clay soils do
not drain as well but hold water better. If the soil in the garden is sandier, you will
have to water it less deeply but more often, because sandy soils drain very well but
do not hold water easily. If you have a well balanced loam in your garden, you
should water it deeply and often.
Do not simply decide on a schedule and stick to it rigorously. Weather
conditions such as high humidity or regular precipitation are going to affect how
moist the soil is. Overwatering the soil can be just as harmful to newly planted grass
seed as not watering enough. You do not want to run the risk of drowning your
seeds or seedlings before they get a chance to be established.