A Guide to Lawn Watering (And Watering In General)

A Guide to Lawn Watering (And Watering In General)

Water, Water Everywhere…

Watering is a big deal.  Huge.  You can have the best seed, the best soil, and the greenest thumb; but you will end up with a scraggly weed-ridden mess if you don’t water properly.

Recently, we hydroseeded two adjacent lots at the exact same time.  Both lots got the same seed, the same mulch and have experienced the same weather simultaneously.  No additional treatments or additional work have been performed, aside from mowing.


watering comparison

The lawn on the right was watered properly and has grown in nice and thick and most of all, very very green.

The lawn on the left was not watered regularly and is fairly patchy.  This is likely the result of some seed dying due to a combination of sun over-exposure and dehydration.  Note how it looks much rougher and paler than the grass on the right.

Here is a closer look:

lawn comparison line



 Proper watering give you all sorts of benefits:

1. Water is necessary for seeds to germinate (sprout and grow).  No water… no germination.

2.  Keeps the soil moist.  Dry soil has a tendency to bake and become hard, similar to the way you would bake modeling clay in a kiln when you want it to harden.  Seed wont grow properly in baked soil.

3. Keeps the soil alive.  In a manner of speaking anyway.  Nutrients in the soil can lose their effectiveness if they bake or dry out.  Nutrient-poor soil is not ideal for planting.

4. Keeps weeds at bay.  This is especially true with freshly seeded lawns.  Two things to consider: properly watered grass will out-compete weeds for a spot in your lawn, and weeds are better at surviving when water is scarce.  This means that as long as your lawn is properly watered, the grass will prevail.


NOTE: Dead grass seed can become weeds.  WEEDS ARE GRASS ZOMBIES (sometimes).


Make Sure It’s Juuuuuuussssssssst Right

Over-watering is just as dangerous as under-watering.  Too much of anything is a bad thing, and water is no exception.  If you notice water pooling in the area you are watering, stop immediately.  Just like anything else, your seed can drown or even wash away.  In addition to being supremely irritating, it’s also going to cost you some hard earned cash to re-seed or replace a dead plant (cooked, drowned or otherwise).


Watering Best Practices:

  • Know and understand the proper watering needs for your plants.  Some will need watering several times a day at specific times, others will not need so much.  If you aren’t sure, ask someone who works at the nursery where the plant came from, or anyone nearby who knows plants.
  • Grass needs, on average, one inch of rainfall per week.  Sometimes it needs a little more, and sometimes less depending on the weather.  ‘Rainfall’ necessarily mean rain.  Sprinklers are a good method of watering, irrigation systems are even better.
  • Hold off watering if the area is still wet from the last watering.  Most plants, grass included, don’t like to have wet feet all the time. Let the water get soaked up by the roots or otherwise drained away before you play rainmaker again.
  • Generally speaking, the best watering times are early morning and late evening.  This is because water droplets that are collected on leaves can act like little magnifying glasses when they are hit by direct sunlight.  Fried leaves are to a plant what a severe sunburn is to you.
  • Make sure your watering method is adequate for the area you want to water.  If the water wont reach, it wont help.

Here’s an example of poor coverage:

watering opps cropped

This watering method (irrigation system, in this case) is not getting water properly distributed, and only covers a portion of the area. Not ideal.




Keep these things in mind, and your water-related problems should be kept to a minimum.

As always, feel free to reach out to us if you have any questions about what we’ve covered.



~The Greencare Team