Overseeding - Knowledgebase Question

Sparks, Ne
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Question by chashorsey
June 30, 2010
I recently over-seeded my lawn. How often and how much h2o is needed during the initial growing stages?

Answer from NGA
June 30, 2010
I apologize for the delay in responding. We were flooded with questions and are working to catch up!

Overseeding usually refers to sowing a cool-season grass, such as rye, over an existing warm-season grass, such as Bermuda, in fall, not the middle of summer. Whatever grass seed you spread, it's essential to keep the soil consistently moist throughout germination and seedling establishment. How often and how much to water depends on multiple factors, including your weather, soil conditions, how much water your system puts out, type of grass, etc., so unfortunately, there's no one answer fits all. As a general guideline, water two times daily, for 5 to 10 minutes each (about 9 am and 2 pm) to maintain moist soil until seeds germinate and seedlings establish. When seedlings reach 1 inch, reduce watering to 1 time daily. When grass is 2 inches high, mow to a height of 1.5. After the second mowing, reduce watering to an as-needed basis, depending on weather and rain. This may be every 3 to 7 days or every 5 to 10 days. Water should soak to a depth of at least 4 to 6 inches with each watering for many grasses, and 8 to 10 inches for Bermuda grass, which has a deeper root system. Always water deeply, but as infrequently as possible, to flush salts below the root zone, grow strong roots, and improve drought tolerance. Stick a long-handled screwdriver into the soil to determine how far water soaks. It will move easily through moist soil and stop at dry soil. Good luck with your lawn!

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