The first watering should be heavy, wetting the soil to a depth of 6-8 inches. This will allow developing roots to better penetrate the soil. Daily watering will also be more effective with a heavy initial watering. Care should be taken to not allow runoff.
First Three Weeks
Daily watering is recommended for the first three weeks. The objective is to keep the surface moist. The amount of water applied each time will be small. However, in hot weather, two or three daily waterings may be necessary. With dew available many mornings, midday is often the best choice if only one watering can be made.
As the seedlings develop, the surface may be allowed to dry out, but the root zone must still be kept moist. Change from light daily waterings to heavier waterings every other day.
Two heavy waterings to maintain soil moisture for root development and later germinating seedlings.
At this point, resume normal watering procedures for your lawn. 1" of water each week will provide adequate growing moisture for excellent lawn performance.
Air temperature, ground temperature, available moisture, and sunlight affect the germination times of seed. Most ryegrass and fescue will germinate in 7-14 days. Kentucky bluegrass germinates in about 20-25 days.
Seeded areas with existing grass can be mowed as needed. Do not let clippings accumulate on the lawn, as smothering of new seedlings may occur.
New seedlings can be harmed by weed controls. It is normal for some weeds to grow whenever the soil has been disturbed.
Once the grass is strong enough to handle traffic, broadleaf weeds can be killed. Crabgrass should be eliminated the second year of a lawn with a pre-emergent control. Post-emergent control may be attempted the first year, however, only when the lawn is established and can handle traffic on a regular basis.
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