NEW SEED GUIDELINES
· Before seeding: Proper watering should begin just before you seed a lawn, creating moist, inviting growing conditions. A few days before spreading the seeds, water the area to be planted to a depth of 6 to 8 inches, recommends University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources. When you do this, add a little compost to the soil to make it richer and more hospitable. Allow the area to dry completely before adding seeds.
· Just after seeding: After sowing the grass seeds, they will need frequent watering on an as-needed basis. Keep the top 2 inches of soil moist, but not sopping wet. Water whenever the soil is becoming dry. Feel the soil to see if it's moist or dry. If the soil gets too dry, the germination process will stop. When watering, do not water so much that it pools on the soil's surface.
· The top inch of soil should stay moist at all times. This may take only 2-3 minutes or 5-6 minutes (or longer) depending on your sprinkler system and the soil type.
· Use your best judgment: moist, but not soggy is the plan!
· Watering new grass seed on new lawn areas does NOT require lengthy watering times. That simply sends the water deeper than it is needed at this early stage.
· Frequent watering is the only way to keep adequate surface moisture. But that does not mean go crazy.
· Continuing Care: As the grass seeds germinate and develop roots, continue regular watering to help them become well established. Over the next month, check the seed bed regularly and water it lightly whenever it is dry, much like in the period right after seeding. During dry spells, check the new lawn more often, as it will need more water. Pay particular attention to shady patches of the lawn, as they need watering less often than sun-soaked areas.
· Newly established turf is very sensitive to most herbicides and weed control should be avoided until the area is completely established. A good rule of thumb is to wait until after the third mowing before considering applying any herbicide. As always, thoroughly reading and carefully following the instructions on herbicide labels is critical.
· After Establishment: When the grass seeds are established, their water needs lessen. Generally, give the lawn about 1 inch of water a week, delivered in one or two sessions. Doing so helps the roots of the grass grow deep into the ground and makes the lawn more tolerant of drought. Try to water in the early morning to avoid excessive evaporation.