When gardening it is easy to assume that some processes are more simple than they seem, however, there is nearly always an unexpected layer of depth worth knowing before doing a task, no matter how simple the task would seem.
One process that a lot of gardeners assume is simple and does not need much thought is watering your grass. It is a simple process which does not require a lot of effort, however, there should be some thought behind it.
There is a large difference from a beautiful lawn which is has been grown from grass seeds and looks perfect, and a lawn which has sparsely grown grass and is dry and patchy.
There are quite a few different factors which can affect this and are worth knowing. They are mainly just hints and basic information which is worth knowing, but if you do know them they can make a world of difference to your lawn.
To give a preview some of the most common factors which can affect the quality of your grass seed are; how often are you watering your grass seed, what time of year has the seed been planted, if you are using mulch and if so how much mulch, and of course making sure to know the best time of day to water your grass seed (the quick answer to this being in the morning.)
This article is designed to make sure you know everything you need to know to make sure that your freshly seeded lawn gets the best results possible and your garden can look perfect!
There is nothing wrong with needing some guidance with this process as it is not knowledge which you know naturally and is helpful to know.
So if you need any guidance when it comes to watering your grass seed and knowing how to care for a freshly seeded lawn, this guide is well worth reading!
When To Plant Your Grass Seed?
Perhaps one of the most important steps when it comes to working with grass seed in your lawn is the preparation and knowing when the best time is to start planting the seed in your lawn.
As you can expect, the quality of your results will vary greatly depending on when you decide to plant the seed, so knowing when to do so is a greatly important step to take.
The best time to plant your grass seed will depend on the type of grass you are aiming to grow. Different types of grass seed thrive at different times so knowing what type you are working with is incredibly important.
The packaging of your grass seed, or the manufacturer should make this timing clear so make sure to keep an eye out for it.
When it comes to the different types of grass seed which are available there are two main types available:
- Cool Season Grasses
- Warm Season Grasses
Cool season grasses are designed to grow best in a more temperate and generally northern climate. Warm season grasses on the other hand are made to grow better in a southern climate.
You can of course grow these grasses in a setting which they are not specifically designed for, for example a cool season grass in the south, or a warm season grass in the north.
In spite of this, they will grow best in the type of climate they are designed best to work in.
If you want to know more about the specific types of grass which are under each of these classifications, these will be covered in the next sections!
More About Cool Season Grass Varieties
Some of the most common types of cool season grasses include; Fine Fescue, Tall Fescue, Kentucky Bluegrass, and Perennial Ryegrass.
All of these grasses will yield the best results if they have been grown at a temperature between 60 and 80 digress. This means that the best time of year to grow these cool season grasses is usually early in the fall season.
The time of year in which most people will tend to want to grow a cool season grass is a few weeks prior to labor day. This is because around this time it will not be too cold, but it is by no means too hot either.
You will want your turf to be warm for the seeds to germinate properly, but still not too hot.
Another good period of time to grow these types of grass seed is around the spring. This is because the temperature is still quite mild and there is also a much higher chance of rainfall which of course helps the grass.
However, there are still issues with growing this type of grass during the spring, this is because you have a much higher likelihood of having to deal with weeds while the grass is growing which can create much more work while your grass is growing.
This is why it is generally recommended that when you are growing grass during this time that you should use a fertilizer which includes a weed inhibitor to stop the weeds growing out of control.
So while you can choose spring to be a good option for growing this type of grass, fall is still what is more low effort, and will work well too.
More About Warm Season Grass Varieties
When it comes to warm season grasses, some of the most popular varieties which are included are; Bahia Grass, Bermuda Grass, Buffalo Grass, Centipede Grass, St Augustine Grass, and Zoysia Grass.
As you can gather from the name of this categorization, these grasses tend to better in a hotter climate than the previous type. They will do best in a temperature somewhere between 75 and 90 degrees.
This is why it is generally recommended to grow this type of grass during either the late spring season, or early in summer, this is in reference to their native climates, and you will need to adjust this if growing somewhere else.
You will want to make sure that warm season grasses are not going to be planted at the very hottest time of year as this can be harmful to the plant, instead you will want to do it at a time when the weather is just still quite warm.
This type of grass will do best during the warm season and will make sure that your lawn is properly established during the first season of its growth.
How Often Should You Water Your Grass Seed?
While it may seem like it, the process of watering your grass seeds is not only about when you are watering it in the day as well as having a pattern and routine of watering, but the process of preparing the soil of the grass seed is just as important as it gives the grass good foundations to grow in.
There is advice on how to properly water your grass seed and a lot of this is about watering the ground before you have actually put this seed into the ground.
A good piece of advice is that you should water the area where you are planning to grow your grass seed to a depth of around 6 to 8 inches at least a few days before you plan to plant the seed.
This is an important process which should be done if you have the time to prepare. This will make sure that once the seed has been planted, the seed will be able to germinate properly.
Not everyone does this, but because almost everyone who has done this has reported good results, it is something worth doing if you are planning the process ahead of time.
After you have planted your grass seed you will want to make sure that you are watering the grass for around 5 to 10 minutes.
You will want to ensure that at least the top inches of your soil are certainly moist, and you will want this level of moisture to be maintained while the grass has been seeding.
While maintaining this level of moisture is important, make sure not to overwater as this could lead to your new seed ending up washed away.
The level to which you need to monitor the level of moisture you maintain on your grass seed will also depend on how often and to what degree it rains in the area you are living in.
This will also depend on how much and what type of mulch you have used as this is what helps your soil retain moisture.
If you are living in an area which does not have any rainfall you will need to ensure that you are watering your area about two times a day.
This is with the goal of maintaining that few inches of moisture which is needed for your grass seed to thrive.
If you are however, living in an area which has some rainfall you will want to track how often and how much it is raining and adjust your watering to this accordingly.
You will not want there to be any more than 1 or 2 inches of water deep per every week before your seeds are sprouting.
You will want to make an informed guess throughout this process to make sure your seeded area has a proper amount of moisture and to then supplement this accordingly.
When Is The Best Time Of Day To Water Grass Seed And Seedlings?
Compared to some other plants where the time of day it is watered does not matter that much, the time of day when you are watering grass seeds is actually very important and should be paid attention to.
When you are watering your grass seed you will want to make sure that there is no chance the water will evaporate which is why the time recommended to water your grass seed is in the morning as the sun is present, but there will not be too much wind.
If you are watering in the morning you will not be dealing with as much evaporation and there will not be as much water waste. This will ensure that your turf will be able to absorb the water and the seeds will get properly nourished.
If you are unable to water your grass seedlings in the morning for whatever reason, the other best times to do so will be in the later afternoon (not during the night however) as the conditions are the most similar during this time.
Should You Set A Timer For Your Sprinklers?
To make this process much more simple, many people opt to use a sprinkler system as these can be put on a timer to avoid this process.
This is a great idea if you are busy and do not have the time to do all of this manually. The best thing to do is a get a sprinkler which has a timer that has more than a single outlet.
This means you will still have the option of using a hose to manually water if you need to.
If you are working with a larger area you will want a try getting an oscillating sprinkler which covers a larger area. If this is not a viable option you may want to use multiple sprinklers for the best coverage possible.
If you are instead working with a smaller garden, then you can use a spot sprinkler instead. These will make sure the entirety of your area will get the correct amount of water it needs.
For your new grass to properly germinate it will need anywhere between 3 to 28 days and this will depend on the type of grass seed which has been used.
Encouraging Deep Root Growth
If you want to have the best lawn possible, you will want to encourage a thick and strong grass coverage without any weeds present.
To maintain this you will want to let your grass reach around 3 and a half inches, and then you can start trimming it. You will need to bag your clippings and also water a lot less at this point at maybe just 2 times a week.
But when you do water you will want to do it deeply at around 4 and a half inches deep into the soil.
When you are watering less often but getting deeper with the watering you will be encouraging your grass’ roots to dig deeper and get moisture deeper, so you do not have to worry about your lawn as much.