Too much water? Too little? How often? Perfecting your ideal watering regime is an ongoing learning experience, but our top tips should help you get it right more times than not!
Watering a new lawn
Spring and autumn are the best times to sow grass seed for fast germination, as when temperatures are too hot or too cold - this can affect the establishment of your new lawn. With this in mind, here's how you should water your grass seed whether you're sowing in spring or autumn
You should aim to water your lawn everyday, daily for the first 6 weeks after sowing your seed. If there is prolonged rainfall - 1 - 2 days, you can avoid doing this.
Rain is far more likely in autumn, so on days where it doesn't rain during the 6 weeks after sowing - make sure to keep your seeds moist.
Watering an established lawn
Spring / summer watering
- You should water heavily and infrequently. The aim is to develop a good root system. The grass roots will search for water by pushing down so it’s OK to let grass get a little thirsty.
- Light and regular watering means shallow roots which in times of drought means more stress in the summer. It also encourages weed growth and greater chance of disease.
- A good soak every 10 days should be fine.
- You should see minor puddles on the surface.
- Aim to water late in the evening or night time when the sun has gone down and it is cooler. Alternatively you can water first thing in the morning.
- In particularly hot / heatwave / drought weather, do not water during the day as most of it will evaporate.
Autumn / winter watering
Grass growth slows down in the winter and rain is more frequently forecast, so there is no need to water your lawn.
So how much water?
The aim of watering your new seedlings is to keep them moist - not saturated. The aim of watering an established lawn particularly in periods of drought, is to keep it green and hydrated. A lawn that isn't watered well during a heatwave will become very obvious, very quickly (yellow straw-like blades). Typically, 1-2 inches of water for new seedlings and an established lawn is enough to keep it happy. If you find that in hot periods your soil or seedlings appear dry after watering, or your established lawn isn't improving from your watering - you may need to increase the frequency.