Once a new lawn has been
seeded, watering becomes the most important
part of the job. Watering is so important that it can make the difference
between luxuriant success and total failure. Failures further delay the look
of a beautiful lawn and translate into even more watering. So the "key" is
doing it right the first time.
Newly seeded lawn with a mushroom
The most important thing
to remember about grass seed is that it must be close to the surface of the soil to
germinate (sprout) properly. Therefore, successful germination depends on ample moisture
at the soil surface. Soil can dry out very quickly on sunny or windy days.
So during the first few
weeks of watering, you need to concentrate on keeping the lawn surface moist. This is best
accomplished by frequent light waterings, especially on hot, sunny days. Areas of the lawn
in full sun need watered more often than partially shaded areas. Lawn edges and curb areas
are very easy to miss. Slopes always dry out faster than level areas.
The best rule of thumb is: "If in doubt - WATER!"
The most frequently
asked question is:
When is the best time of day to water?
Morning is the best,
even if it is just before sunrise. Afternoon waterings are also fine (required some days),
even though more water is lost to evaporation. Late evening is the time to avoid watering
a lawn if possible. Why? Turfgrass watered in the evening tends to stay wet all night,
providing an ideal environment for fungus disease. Young seedlings are especially
vulnerable to certain fungi which can wipe out large areas of grass overnight! (Particular
caution with evening watering must be exercised during hot and humid weather, i.e. summer
nights when it is "muggy")
Too little, too late?
At least the weeds made it!