Once your landscape planting has been completed, proper watering becomes the most important part of plant survival and appearance. Transplanting causes a certain amount of shock to a plant, due to the loss of roots, transportation and handling and a change in growing conditions.
If there is less than one inch of rainfall per week, water plants thoroughly every other day. If the soil is dry to the touch you need to water. If the soil is moist you can wait another day.
Apply water slowly and repeatedly to allow it to soak in.
Morning is the best time of day to water plants. When plant foliage remains wet overnight, it provides an ideal environment for fungus diseases.
Watch plants for wilting and other signs of water stress. (Misting the foliage with a fine spray helps revive wilted plants).
Remember: Plants need more water when they are actively growing (spring and ) than when they are dormant (fall and winter).
Watering Your New Lawn
Now that your lawn has been planted, watering becomes the most important part of the job. Watering is so important that it can make the difference between luxuriant success and total failure. Failures further delay the look of a beautiful lawn and translate into even more watering. So the “key” is doing it right the first time.
The most important thing to remember about grass seed is that it must be close to the surface of the soil to germinate (sprout) properly. Therefore, successful germination depends on ample moisture at the soil surface. Soil can dry out very quickly on sunny or windy days.
So during the first few weeks of watering, you need to concentrate on keeping the lawn surface moist. This is best accomplished by frequent light waterings, especially on hot, sunny days. Areas of the lawn in full sun need watered more often than partially shaded areas. Lawn edges and curb areas are very easy to miss. Slopes always dry out faster than level areas.
The best rule of thumb is: “If in doubt – WATER!”
First: Keep the lawn surface moist for the first 3 weeks (light daily watering.
Then: For the next 3 weeks, water more thoroughly but less often (2 to 3 times per week).
Timing: Try to avoid watering in the evening, unless your work schedule makes it absolutely necessary.
Mowing: Begin mowing the lawn as soon as it needs mowing. Bagging the clippings is usually best for a new lawn. Clean the underside of the mower often to prevent clogging (young grass is very succulent and will clog-up).
Straw (if applicable): It’s alright to leave straw on the lawn surface, provided it isn’t thick enough to smother young seedlings.
Leaves: In fall, keep the lawn clear of leaves. Leaves can block sunlight and water, and suffocate young seedlings by “matting down”.
Bare spots: 3 to 6 weeks after the initial seeding, spot-seed bare and thin areas. It is important to continue proper watering.