We all know growing grass seed needs extra water and care. How much water do they need? Is it helpful to give growing seeds an extra dose of moisture before bed? There is a lot of information about proper watering protocol! It can be confusing! Here’s all you need to know about when to water grass seed.
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Watering lawn at night vs watering in the morning
Water is water, no matter the time of day, right? Surprisingly, the time of day is extremely important when it comes to watering your lawn.
It’s best to water grass between 4 a.m. and 10 a.m. This allows the water to seep into the soil and help the grass weather the hottest part of the day. Watering too late in the day when it is already hot may cause the water to evaporate before it can be beneficial.
Watering in the morning also gives grass a chance to dry out before evening. Why do you want your grass to be dry overnight? A wet lawn during the night can encourage fungus growth.
Is it bad to water grass seed at night?
Grass seed is in a somewhat fragile stage of development. Even though it needs a lot of water, it is best not to water it at night. If it is too wet during the night, fungus and disease could develop and threaten your young grass. Constantly moist areas are a breeding ground for fungus and other diseases.
What causes fungal diseases?
Fungal diseases are much more likely to happen in lawns that do not have proper irrigation. Improper irrigation can result from too much water, watering at night, or soil that doesn’t drain properly. Regular aeration can help soil drain well.
Signs of fungal disease
Mushrooms are not a sign of fungal disease and are not usually a cause for concern. Fungal diseases will have fluffy, white growths, or cause spots, wilting, and yellow grass. Keep an eye out for thin or brown patches in your lawn.
Should you water grass in the morning?
Morning is the best time to water your grass for several reasons.
Mornings are usually cooler. This allows the water to soak into the ground without evaporating right away.
The water on the grass blades will actually provide some protection from harsh rays of sun during the hottest part of the day.
Mornings are usually less windy. Don’t let all your water blow away in the afternoon!
Minimize risk of fungal growth
Watering your yard at night increases the risk of diseases like root rot and other fungal diseases. Your lawn and soil should be relatively dry at night.
Would you believe that morning watering actually helps with pest control? Most pests are more active at night. Watering in the morning washes pests like snails, slugs, and ants off the grass blades.
Does grass grow at night?
Grass is nocturnal! It takes in a lot of energy during the day from the sun. At night, it utilizes that energy to grow.
What is the best time of day to water grass seed?
New grass seed usually needs to be lightly watered several times a day. The goal is to keep the soil constantly moist, but not too soggy. Lightly water the new grass seed just until puddles start to form. Water again when the soil begins to become dry.
Morning is the ideal time to water your grass seed. Water it again in the late morning to early afternoon to keep the soil moist. Don’t water in the evening. Protect that new grass from any diseases. If you are not home to water during the day, a simple programmable hose faucet timer is a great solution!
Once the grass is established (about three weeks), it will need less water. At this point, watering twice a week should be plenty.
Most varieties of grass require around one inch of water per week, depending on the location and the season. This can be accomplished with 1-2 watering sessions throughout the week. Infrequent watering is actually more beneficial than daily watering. Grass that is watered less will have deeper roots and be hardier during hot temperatures.
How to check if your grass is getting enough water
If you’re relying on rainfall to keep your grass hydrated, use a rain gauge to determine the amount of precipitation. Fix the gauge in the open off the ground, like on a fence post.
To measure water fall from sprinklers, place a small can, like a tuna can, in your yard. A tuna can is about one inch deep. Run the sprinklers for 15 minutes, then check the level of water in the can. This can help you determine how long to run your sprinklers when you water.
If you’re a high-tech homeowner, a lawn sensor may be the best tool for you! Place it in your yard to monitor moisture levels.