How to Care and Water for Your New Lawn and Landscaping

Trees, Shrubs and Flowers

Water with 2” of water every other day for the first three weeks after planting. Thereafter, water with 1” of water one time per week, from summer into early fall.

Water well, one last time in November before the ground freezes to improve the plants’ ability to tolerate winter desiccation.

In subsequent years, water with 2” of water one time per week during the heat of the summer if the soil feels dry and the foliage wilts.

Note: Plants do not absorb water through their leaves, only their roots. Apply water to the soil within the “drip line”. Spraying down the foliage may do more harm than good by encouraging fungus development.

Seeded Lawns

A new seed bed must be kept moist in order for the grass seed to germinate. If the seed bed dries out, even just once, you may lose up to 30% of your seed germination. Watering is the key element in the success or failure of your lawn.

For the first 4 weeks while the seed is germinating water lightly, frequently and consistently. Using an overhead sprinkler for 10 minutes one time in the morning and one time in the evening should keep the soil constantly moist. If the newly germinating seed dries out, it will crack and die.

After 4 weeks most of the seed will have germinated, but the general appearance may still be quite thin and patchy. Over the next 3 weeks while the grass is thickening, reduce the frequency of watering to once every other day and increase to 20 minutes.

After 8 weeks, reduce watering to 1” per week.

Note: To water accurately, place a straight sided cup under your sprinkler, time how long it takes to fill up 1”of water (in that cup).

Sod Lawns

Water the sod with 3” of water immediately after installation. Take extra care to hit edges nearest to pavement.

  • Water in the morning with 2” every day for the first 7 days.
  • For the next 3 weeks, water twice per week with 1 1/2”.
  • After 4 weeks, water 3 times per week with 1”.

Optimal conditions germination time tables

  • Kentucky Bluegrass: 21 days
  • Tall Fescue: 16 – 18 days
  • Fine Fescue: 14 days
  • Ryegrass (annual, perennial & turf type): 5-7 days