Whether they’re trees, bushes, shrubs, or flowers, watering existing plants that have strong root systems is easy. Your inground sprinkler system is set, you know how much water you’re delivering each day and your plants appreciate the good drink they get. However, watering new grass seed presents a whole host of different issues. Erosion, wash away, overwatering, underwatering – how can you water new grass seed in your existing landscape.Remember, grass grows at different rates, so don’t expect a nice green carpet all at once! Let’s take a look at a few things to keep in mind.
Make Sure You Know What You Have – Seed, Plugs or Sod!
Many people don’t realize that the strategy can be very different if you have seed, plugs, or sod. It makes perfect sense though, if you think about it. Seed can be washed away and plugs or sod can’t. Moreover, plugs and sod are actually fully formed plants, making their use of water more effective. The watering strategy for plugs or sod is similar. You’ll want to water nearly as soon as it’s put down. Check the area daily to determine how moist the soil is – you should be able to feel the moisture at least a half inch down. Then, water evenly each day as the knitting begins to take place.
Watering New Seed is All About, Season, Time and Amount
Unfortunately, it’s very easy to over or under water new grass seed. The part of the year, time of day and the amount of water are incredibly important elements when watering your new grass seed. First, make sure you have the season right. Grass won’t grow well in the dead of New York winters – that’s obvious. However, it won’t grow in the middle of the dog days of summer either. No matter how much you water, grass seed will have a tough time getting established in the summer heat. Spring, after the last frost and early fall after the last big heat wave are best.
Next, consider watering in the early morning. The seed and sprouts will get a good drink before the heat of the day comes and will not be susceptible to the fungus and bacteria that make themselves abundant with wet plants at night.
Finally, you’ll want to water each day that it doesn’t rain until the sprouts appear. Then, water each time the soil appears visibly dry.
Watering New Grass Seed is Hard if There’s No Seed!
New grass seed is particularly susceptible to being swept away by wind, water and people. If you’re simply overseeding a lawn that already has established grass, this likely isn’t a large issue. However, if you are patching a bare area or establishing a lawn in an entirely new place, you may need to take precautions. If you can, rope off the area that you’ve seeded. Additionally, when you water, try to direct your sprinklers to water upward so it rains down on the seed as opposed to crossing it horizontally. This will prevent the seed from being pushed out of the area. If you are seeding a hill, you may want to consider watering the area by hand.
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