How Much Should I Water New Grass Seed?

In case the loss of one precious hour coupled with the blanket of yellow pollen that’s coating absolutely everything these days wasn’t clear, let us be the ones to tell you: spring is imminent, and summer will be hot on its heels.

Before you break out the lawn chairs and bocce ball set, however, let’s first make sure you’re primed to grow a gorgeous green lawn that you’ll be able to enjoy over the coming months.

Early spring is the time to take advantage of the second-best season for planting cool-season grasses.

If you’ve recently seeded your lawn or you’re planting an entirely new lawn, you probably have questions like “Can new grass seed be overwatered?” or “Should new grass seed be watered daily?” You may even be wondering, “When should I stop watering new grass seed?

Fear not.

We get these kinds of questions frequently. That’s why today we’re diving into that one critical component that all life needs to survive: water. We’ll break down how much your grass seed really needs, how frequently it needs it, and when enough is enough.

How Often Should New Grass Seed be Watered?

Did you know you need to water your lawn before there’s an actual lawn there to water?

The pros recommend watering the area where your new grass seed will go before even laying down the seed. This is because seeds are actually designed to respond to moisture, so it’s a good idea to give them a jump start on growth by introducing them to an already moist environment.

Before actually planting your seed, you should water the area to a depth of about 6 or 8 inches of soil. You can check this by inserting a screwdriver into the ground and gauging the resistance.

After you have distributed the seed, you should again water the area for several minutes so that those first several inches of soil can remain moistened. Bear in mind that if seeds have the chance to dry out, the germination process will be interrupted, and they will die.

The frequency of watering new grass seed from this point on will depend in large part on how much rainfall accumulates in the geographic area where you live.

Wondering What Time of Day to Water Grass Seed?

Think like Goldilocks.

Just as Goldilocks demanded her porridge be neither too hot nor too cold, your grass seed demands the same when it comes to what time of day is best for watering. If anything, err on the side of cool.

The two best times for watering new grass seed will be in the early morning and then again in the evening since these are the coolest parts of the day. This will make it much easier for the ground to absorb the water without evaporating into the heat of the day.

If you were to water your grass seed during a hotter part of the day, most of that water would quickly evaporate before it had a chance to soak into the ground, and your efforts would largely be in vain.

Your watering process can be simplified by using an automatic water timer since it will tell you when to water your new seed and make the process as hands-off as possible. The method used for watering your grass seed will depend on how large an area you have seeded.

If you have seeded an area as large as a whole front lawn, you’ll probably need to use a high-quality sprinkler in order to provide adequate coverage. If you’ve just seeded just a small patch of ground that was damaged, you can probably get by with a small spot sprinkler or by hand.

How Long You Should be Watering?

How Long You Should be Watering

The length of time you spend on watering your new grass seed will depend on soil conditions, as well as how you have set up your sprinkler. A good rule of thumb is to go through 10 minutes of watering each time you have a session, either morning or evening. That should provide enough water to keep the first two or three inches of your soil fairly well moistened.

As the grass seed germinates and grows, you won’t have to water as deeply or frequently.

As a matter of fact, by watering a little less frequently, you will actually encourage the grass roots to extend themselves more deeply into the ground below, thereby strengthening the root system. As grass seedlings begin to emerge, you should emphasize your morning watering sessions over the evening sessions by watering a little more deeply at the beginning of the day.

Eventually, you should get to the point where you only need to water in the morning because an established lawn really just needs about an inch of water each week, and that will include any rainfall that happens to fall in your area.

What About Overseeding?

Contrary to popular belief, overseeding is not the process of adding too much grass seed to a given area. It’s actually the term used to describe adding grass seed on top of an established lawn.

So if you’re not starting a new lawn from scratch and instead you’re opting for overseeding an existing lawn, do the rules for watering still apply?

Not really. Grass that has been overseeded still needs plenty of water, especially in the beginning, so that the new seeds can germinate.

We recommend watering heavily right after overseeding, followed by light daily watering until germination takes place. Remember to make sure the first inch of soil is soaked. After your new grass takes root and becomes established, simply water at the recommended intervals for the type of grass you’re growing.

When Can You Expect to Enjoy Your New Lawn?

How long it takes for grass seed to grow will depend on which geographic area of the country you live in and your climate, and the specific type of grass seed you have sown. There is a broad range of growth cycles, ranging from three to 28 days before you might see the new seed develop into actual grass.

If you have managed your watering and caretaking well, with a little patience and diligence, you should end up with a beautiful-looking lawn that will add aesthetic appeal to your home for years to come.


Author: Matt Hagens

Hi, I’m Matt the owner of Obsessed Lawn. I love to be outside working on my lawn, planning my next project. I created this website to help people like you find the best products for yard care and great advice. Learn more about me and find me on Facebook.