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Watering New Grass Seed: How Often and How Much Water

Grass seed, just like any other plant, requires water to germinate and grow properly. You have one opportunity to make these seeds grow.

Otherwise, you will have to lay more. The last thing you want to do is have to purchase more seeds and go through the process again.

Watering grass seed isn’t that complicated, but you have to remember you need to keep the ground moist at all times. That is the key to success.


Watering New Grass Seed How Often and How Much Water

Water: The Key to Life

Everything requires water to live. Seeds need moisture and the correct temperature to germinate. When they have both of those things, they will germinate and sprout.

However, the process doesn’t get easier from there. Grass seedlings are very delicate. If they face drastic changes, they are like to die.

If you forget to water your grass seed and the ground dries out, the sprouts are going to die as well. All of this means one thing. Your goal is to keep that soil moist at all times once you notice the sprouts coming out of the ground. It can be frustrating at times.

Grass seeds take an average of 5 to 30 days to germinate! If you plant them during the cooler months, it can take even longer.

Watering New Grass Seeds – The Basic Steps

All you need is either a hose or a sprinkler system

1. Create The Right Environment For Grass Seed to Grow

Before you plant seeds, you need to create the right environment for them to grow. Watering the ground before you spread the seeds is a wise idea.

You want to create the right conditions for the seeds to germinate and grow. Water the area a few days before you plan to plant the seeds. Add some compost to create a richer soil. 

Check our broadcast lawn spreader reviews to see the best products on the 2020 market.

Water the ground before you spread the grass seeds


2. How To Water New Grass Seeds and How Often

Once you sow the grass seeds, frequent watering is needed. The main problem is determining how much water is enough. 

If you overwater, you will notice puddles on the surface. The seeds will float, resulting in unevenly distributed seeds. New grass sprouts can drown because the roots won’t be able to get oxygen. Avoid over-watering at all costs! 

You should also pay attention to use a suitable spreader before watering them to achieve the best results. If the seeds are on a sloped ground, you want to reduce the length of time that you water and water more frequently.

This practice helps to reduce the amount of runoff you experience. Also, adding mulch over the seeds can reduce seed movement and evaporation.

If you live in area with water restrictions or limitations, you may consider recycling water from your laundry. Grey water is safe for watering your garden provided you use an eco-friendly laundry detergent.

The ground shouldn’t be soggy or spongy. It simply needs to be moist. Be careful if you have clay or adobe soil. It takes a long time for those soils to dry, so careful observation is required.

For shaded areas, you don’t need to water as frequently. Sunny areas, as expected, take more water. Homeowners who use a sprinkler system experience trouble with this.

One idea is to set the sprinkler to one cycle and then later hand water the other areas again. This practice prevents over-watering shaded areas.

how often water grass seed


3. The Days and Weeks Before the Grass Seeds Germinate are the Most Crucial

Work out how long will it take for your grass seeds to grow.

As you learned above, you need to keep the ground moist, but not water-logged. Typically, you don’t need a whole lot of water to make the soil wet.

However, it won’t take long before the ground dries out as well. The frequency of watering will depend on factors like the type of soil, the amount of sun available and the type of surface.

An average recommendation is to water your grass seeds two or three times a day for 15 minutes at a time. You want the top one to two inches of soil to stay moist.

How long does it take for new grass seed to begin germination?


4. Don't Forget to Water Your Seeds

If you forget one time throughout the day, your seeds should be ok. If you forget for two or three days, you more than likely killed your seeds and will need to start over.

The seeds will not be able to germinate. Also, if the temperature increases, the ground will dry out sooner.

5. Soon, the seeds will germinate, but they won’t all sprout at the same time.

The seeds are at different depths and will absorb water differently. Some seeds are lower quality and take longer to germinate.

When you purchase grass seed, they come in blends of different varieties. You need to keep the surface area moist until all of the seeds have germinated and sprouted out of the ground.

6. The sprouts will be visible, but you shouldn’t decrease watering.

The newly formed roots are growing down into the soil, so any moisture below ground becomes available to the roots.

Slowly, the roots will become stronger and less vulnerable and delicate as before. It isn’t a good idea to cut back on watering yet.

7. Slowly, as the planted area grows denser, you can reduce the amount of watering.

Seed germination has completed, and the sprouts are growing stronger with each passing day. Don’t go cold turkey on watering the weak seedlings! Instead, cut back on the amount of watering slowly.

For example, instead of watering three days, switch to two times per day. Watch for signs of drying. If your grass seed seems to fare well, it could be a chance to change to one lengthy water rather than two short times.

How to Water Your Grass Seed

You can use a simple garden hose if that’s what you want. Please read the article how to find the best expandable hose reviews will help you choose a suitable product. 

Also, there are plenty of irrigation options. You want an option that is adjustable and works best in your area. If you can afford a professionally installed irrigation system, that solution would be ideal.

However, that’s pricey and may not fit into your budget! Instead, here are some other DIY solutions.

Forgot to Water Grass Seed? Here’s what to do:

So, you’ve missed a day of watering grass seed? Not ideal but also not the end of the world. Dormant seeds can last up to 3 to 4 weeks.

Plus, over watering your grass seed can pose far worse than under-watering. Still, you want to try your best to ensure regular watering as dry spells in the soil will disrupt sprout growth. 

Should you forget to water grass seed, here are some things you can do to help: 

  1. Once you remember to water your grass seed, fully rehydrate the soil by making sure the soil is wet down to about 5-inches. 
  2. Do your best not to disrupt the soil. Try to avoid walking over soil, etc. 
  3. Watering in the mornings is recommended. Try to keep your watering consistent and in the mornings moving forward.
  4. If you are particularly concerned (and perhaps you forgot to water grass seed for longer than you should have) consider supporting your sprouts with some high phosphorous seed-sprouting fertilizer.

The best thing you can do is to return to a regular watering schedule and making sure your sprouts have moist soil moving forward.

A continued lack of irrigation may prove fatal for your grass seed. 

Oscillating Sprinklers

Many people have run through these sprinklers on hot summer days. They are ideal for watering narrow, extended areas. 

You can think of their coverage area as a rectangle. However, if you have over-hanging tree branches, they may not work the way you hope.

5 Best Oscillating Sprinklers of 2020 Reviewed

Use Best Oscillating Sprinklers once the grass seed has taken roots and has sprouted


Stationary Sprinklers

These resemble a cone sprinkler. If you have a small area to water, they are wonderful and use low water pressure. You can pair these with other sprinklers to make sure all areas are fully covered.

Best Lawn Sprinklers for 2020 Reviewed

using stationary sprinklers for a softer soaking, as not to loosen the sown grass seeds.


Pulsating Sprinklers

You may find these also called Impact Sprinklers. They are one of the best choices to make sure the areas are adequately watered.

Pulsating Sprinklers rarely clog and create rain-like irrigation to your grass seed. You can set them to water in a full circle or a semi-circle.

 They allow you to change the spray distance and the size of the water droplets. You can water an area 100 feet in diameter.

Metal ones are durable and better than the plastic choices, even though they do cost more money.

Pulsating Sprinklers are good to use once the grass seeds have started growing


There are other options too, like drip irrigation systems that feed water slowly out across the soil, well-suited for flower beds and gardens, as well as blended systems that make use of different irrigation methods to water areas of land that might have different patches of grass and flowers that demand different forms of treatment.

If you are planning on growing monkey grass, be sure to check our ultimate monkey grass grow and care guide

Watering New Grass Seed Conclusion 

Even though the process seems complicated, watering grass seed is simple enough for anyone to do. Before you plant grass seed, you need to water and add compost to the ground.

Once you sow the seeds, it is your job to keep the soil moist, but not sopping wet, to ensure the seeds properly germinate. Once they sprout, you should continue your watering process until the area is thickly patched with grass.

Gradually, you can decrease the amount of water that you provide. Watering grass seed takes time each day, but it is worth the results.

About the Author Ann Katelyn

I'm Ann Katelyn, Creator and Chief Author of Sumo Gardener. Since I was a child I've always been fascinated with plants and gardens, and as an adult this has developed into my most loved hobby. I have dedicated most of my life to gardening and started Sumo Gardener as a way to express my knowledge about gardening with the hope of helping other people's gardens thrive.

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1 comment
Maria Lourdes Doctolero says June 8, 2019

I love it, a big help, Thank you ..

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