A thick, full lawn offers more than just beautiful curb appeal and a great play area for kids. It is also one of the best ways to stop weed growth. When the grass is full and thick, there are fewer bare spots and less soil available for weeds to take root. One of the key components of a healthy, full lawn is overseeding. In Topeka and Lawrence, seeding can be done in spring or fall, and aeration is often done at the same time of seeding. Aeration keeps air circulating in the soil, which is essential for a healthy root system.
Whether you decide to plant grass seed yourself or hire a professional, watering is absolutely crucial for successful seeding. New grass cannot germinate unless it is kept moist. Once wet, it needs to remain wet or it will die, so daily watering of the seeded area is essential. If possible, the best time to water is prior to sunrise and after sunset. This reduces the amount of water lost to evaporation.
Here are Schendel’s watering recommendations for newly seeded lawns:
For best results, water all newly seeded areas twice daily, beginning the day of seeding. The goal is to keep the seed moist but to avoid standing water. Too much water will kill the seed. If you are not able to water twice a day, thoroughly water once daily for a longer duration.
You should begin to see new grass growth. Continue to water once or twice per day, but reduce the time watering by 25%. As before, we want the ground to be moist, but without standing water. Regular watering is still critical at this point, as it helps build up the roots of the grass which allows for better growth.
Water less frequently but for longer periods of time to help continue develop deeper root growth. If dry spots develop, increase time or frequency. Once the grass has become established, you can reduce watering to three times per week.
One last suggestion for fall seeding: Usually once winter hits people store their hoses and don’t think about watering again until spring. However, just because it is cold doesn’t mean your new grass doesn’t still need moisture. Winters in Kansas can be very dry, especially if we don’t receive a lot of snow. Taking advantage of warmer days (above 45˚ F) and watering your lawn by hand will help ensure the best results for your newly seeded lawn come spring.