New grass is very delicate and requires a lot of care. This turf is in a transition period as it has been transported from one environment to another and planted on new soil. The grass needs to develop stronger roots and anchor into your lawns soil securely.New seed will only germinate if the conditions are ideal and the water content is satisfactory. Grass and turf will fail if you don’t administer proper care for the first few months of installation, no matter how well they’re planted.
Professionals plan new grass plantation down to the smallest details. They carefully prepare the soil beforehand to provide the best nutrition possible. They choose a grass that can thrive in your landscape conditions. They grade the land properly and ensure that the topsoil provides enough support for the new grass to thrive. They also advise their customers on proper lawn care procedures after the lawn is installed. They will offer advice on watering schedules.
How Often Should You Water New Grass?
This is one of the most common questions among homeowners with new lawns. Most people are aware that they shouldn’t water lawns too much or too little, but many struggle to determine how often they should do it. They rely on their experience with previous lawns and assume the same schedule would work on their current lawns as well.
Unfortunately, that’s not true as well-established old grass is different from newly planted turf or seeds. They have different water and nutrition requirements so it’s a good idea to follow the professional’s advice or research before you determine the schedule. Here are some tips that can help:
- Newly Seeded Lawn – Seeds require moist and nutritious soil to germinate. They won’t take root if the soil doesn’t have the right balance or is too hard to dig roots into. While the germination times can vary, most grass species take 5 to 21 days. You need to keep the soil relatively moist during this time.
All you need to do is sprinkle small amounts of water onto the soil with seeds about 2 to 3 times a day. You don’t need to saturate the soil with water as that would do more harm than good. Just touch the soil to check if it’s too dry before you add the water.
- New Sod– This is more resilient than seeds and doesn’t require as much care. However, you still need to provide enough water to keep it healthy. In fact, you need to provide 2 to 3 cm of water to the top sod and ensure the original soil underneath the turf is also moist. The soil should be moist to the depth of 3 to 4 inches. You can easily test this by driving a screwdriver into the soil. It the driver can penetrate 3 to 4 inches without much force or trouble, your soil is moist enough. If it can’t, you will have to water it more.
We recommend that you water the new sod daily and touch the soil to make sure it’s moist. You need to ensure the soil isn’t too hard or dry as such conditions won’t support new roots and growth. Grass roots can grow to a depth of 6 to 8 inches so the soil must be hospitable enough for them to travel freely.
How Long Should Grass Be Watered?
You can control the amount of water your grass receives by controlling the amount of time you spend watering it. The amount of water dispersed in a fixed time period can vary from irrigation system to irrigation system. The best way to figure out how long you should keep your sprinkler system on is to determine how much water it delivers to the lawn. Here’s what you can do:
- Set six or more straight-sided jars or containers on the lawn. Make sure you maintain a comfortable and even distance between all of these containers and the sprinklers. You can use tuna fish or cat food containers for this purpose.
- Turn the irrigation system on and run it for 20 minutes.
- After you’ve switched the system off, measure the amount of water collected in all six containers.
- You can then determine the average by adding the amount of water in the container and subtracting the number of containers from the sum.
- You must then multiply the average by three, which will tell you how much water is dispersed by the system in an hour.
You can set your watering schedule based on this information. If you don’t want to go through the trouble of calculating everything, just observe the spray of water and keep an eye on the soil. If the soil is damp and a screw driver can penetrate to depths of 3 to 4 inches without trouble after 30 minutes of watering, you should set the watering system to 30 minutes.
If the ground is too soggy and there are puddles everywhere, you need to reduce the amount of time. This method relies on guesswork and can be time-consuming so it’s better to calculate the amount of water provided by the system.
Factors to Consider in Watering
Just determining how long and how much water you should provide isn’t enough. You need to take other factors into consideration, including:
- The grading and slope of the lawn. You will have to run shorter and more frequent watering cycles to avoid erosion.
- The weather conditions and the heat. You might need to run the system longer during summers.
- The type of soil. Sandy soil doesn’t retain water and will dry out more quickly. Clay soil will require fewer watering sessions.
- Different types of grass require different water levels. Some grass is drought-resistant and won’t require frequent watering. This only applies to sod and not the seeds.
It’s best to consult with a professional if you want to provide your lawn with the best of care. They will ensure you don’t make any mistakes.