The Q&A Archives: Watering new seeding during late frost

Question: I've reseeded several large patches of my lawn in the last week, and now we're getting some late winter weather. Temperatures will hover around freezing for the next 3-4 days, with some snow and frost in the forecast.

Is there anything special I should/shouldn't do in this situation? How can I tell when to/not to water the lawn during this cold snap?

Answer: The freeze thaw cycles will help the seed shift down into better contact with the soil, and eventually it should germinate when the soil warms up enough. You would not need to water when it is frozen or if it is already wet from rain or melted snow. Cooler temperatures help the soil stay moist in the spring. Also, your seeded area should be very lightly covered with plain straw to help shade the ground and keep it from drying out on sudden hot or windy days. (The straw will eventually rot down and help improve the soil.) However, you do not want the soil to dry out completely -- it should stay a bit damp. Normally it stays damp naturally in the spring time. You will need to check the soil and see if you need to water eventually or not.

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