Establishing and Watering New Lawns

Prepare Seed Bed

  1. Minimum 4-6 inches good topsoil
  2. Pick out stones
  3. Work soil and rake out lumps

Spread Starter Fertilizer


Spread Seed

Spread evenly at rate recommended for specific variety

Lightly Rake

Rake both seed and fertilizer – mix with the top ¼” of top soil

Erosion Control

  • Spread CoverGrow or
  • Lay down Futerra or straw blanket

Water! Water! Water!

  1. After seeding, water frequently to keep soil moist while avoiding puddles (10-20 minutes).  This is often 2-3 times per day, depending on how hot or dry the weather is.  For 10 days to 2 weeks, continue this frequent watering. (Ryegrass should be greening up by now)
  2. After the initial 10 days to 2 weeks, water 1 to 2 times per day, 30-45 minutes each time.  (Bluegrass will start to germinate after about 2 weeks of watering)
  3. After 3 to 4 weeks, reduce the frequency of watering, but increase the length of time the sprinkler is on.  (After about 2-3 months, you should be watering 1-2 times per week, applying 1 inch of water a week.)

After 3-5 Weeks (if spring seed)

Apply another application of starter fertilizer

Newly Seeded Lawns

After planting, until the area is mowed one time, water frequently and lightly, keeping the top 1 - 2 inches of soil moist, but not soaked.  Adjust your irrigation schedule when rainfall occurs.

  • Too much water will cause the seeds to rot.
  • If the soil dries out during germination, seedlings are likely to die.

*Minimum of 4 weeks of daily irrigation to allow Kentucky Bluegrasses to germinate.

Watering several times a day may be required for up to 30 days to keep the seedbed moist. During hot periods, even more frequent watering may be needed.

As the seedlings become established, deep and less frequent irrigation will cause the roots to grow deeper into the soil allowing the plants to become more drought tolerance.

Shallow, frequent watering leads to shallow-rooted plants with less drought tolerance.  

It is best to water in the early morning hours when temperatures are low and winds are light and evaporation is at its lowest.  

Established Lawns

Existing lawns require 1 inch per week during active growing periods, but during times of drought 1/2 inch of water every other week will keep the crowns hydrated to ensure green-up once the fall rains begin.