Aeration and overseeding are two of the best things that you can do to promote your lawn’s optimal health and achieve the best possible results.
If you’ve already invested in this service, you may not know that the way in which you handle watering after aeration and overseeding can have a huge impact on those results.
Ultimately, a great-looking lawn is a team effort. While your lawn aerating service in Ashburn, Aldie, or Leesburg, VA can do everything in their power to perform your aeration and overseeding perfectly, ultimately you also hold some of the responsibility for the results on your end.
If you don’t handle your part properly, you risk not getting the full benefits that you desire.
Of course, having a good understanding of your newly-aerated and seeded lawn’s needs, we’ve rounded up some of our best tips.
Recommendations for Watering After Aeration and Seeding
In the time period immediately following aeration and overseeding, your goal is to keep the seeds moist, not sopping wet. It will likely take about 10-21 days after overseeding for germination to begin and the moist top 1” of soil will facilitate this growth.
In order to keep the seed moist, but not soaked, you may need to water in short bursts. This may mean watering two to three times per day but doing so for a shorter period of time (15-20 minutes) in each location.
If you are not able to keep the soil moist, you run the risk of your new grass seeds failing to grow, or starting to germinate and then die. This could be a waste of your investment in the service in the first place. Therefore, it’s worth putting in the effort to water adequately.
Recommendations for Watering After Germination
When the new grass germinates, it definitely requires some extra TLC. New grass plants don’t have the root systems of an established lawn. Therefore, new grass needs more attention until it matures, which can take anywhere from six to nine months. The goal is to keep the top 2-3 inches of soil moist (not waterlogged) during this early growth.
Following germination, you’ll want to water less frequently but using more water. The key is to soak the soil to a depth of two to three inches. This might mean watering two to three times a week (possibly for as long as an hour at a time).
During this phase, you’re watering for a longer duration but not as often (as opposed to a shorter duration, but every day). You want to achieve soil saturation during this period of watering. This will allow the roots to grow deeper and help make your lawn more drought-tolerant in the long run.
How can you tell when the grass is mature enough to start to back off of this schedule?
As a very general rule of thumb, once grass gets long enough to mow, you can feel confident it’s progressing as it should. After you’ve mowed three or four times, it’s likely fairly well-established and you can start to back off of watering as frequently as you’ve been.
Established Grass Watering Recommendations
As time goes on, the general rule of thumb is to water your lawn so it gets approximately two inches of water each week. Even though your lawn may look green and established on top, it takes some time for the root system to mature as well. This is why it’s so important to continue regularly watering your lawn, and it may mean watering once or twice per week if you’re not getting enough natural rainfall.
In terms of when to water, we always recommend mornings whenever possible, particularly if the night temperatures are over 65 degrees. Unfortunately, the combination of moisture, heat, and darkness can lead to fungal growth. It’s okay to water on a fall evening if the temperatures will be dropping but springtime evenings are typically too warm.
Keep in mind that air movement will also cause your lawn to dry out. If it’s warm and windy, the need for water increases.
A Word About Rainfall
Of course, with all of these watering recommendations, you can also factor Mother Nature into account. If it’s raining a lot, then you can back off how much you’re watering on your own. However, we should note that we do find many homeowners tend to believe their lawn is getting more rainfall than it really is.
If you’re counting on rain to water your lawn, you must make a point to measure how much rain your lawn is actually getting from Mother Nature. Rainfall totals can be measured with a rain gage. Of course, the “kind of rain” matters, too. One inch of downpour may not be as beneficial as one inch of steady rain due to the runoff that occurs.
Make sure that you’re supplementing when Mother Nature alone is not enough.
How to Treat Your Lawn After Aeration and Overseeding
In addition to understanding the recommendations for watering after aeration and overseeding, you’ll likely also want to know what’s involved in treating your lawn.
First and foremost, we always recommend topdressing immediately following aeration and overseeding. During this valuable service, the lawn is topped with compost, allowing it to fall into the holes that were made during aeration. As the compost mixes with the clay, it helps create a better layer of topsoil by improving soil structure and microbial life.
Topdressing should be performed immediately after aeration as it’s not nearly so useful to do it without the holes already there.
However, beyond topdressing, the only services that should be performed on your new grass are fertilizer and lime treatments for about six weeks. Any weed control treatments during this time can damage or even kill the lawn while it is still tender.
When your new grass matures and you’ve mowed it three to four times, it should be able to tolerate broadleaf weed control treatments. However, most crabgrass control products require 2-3 months to pass after germination to be safely applied without any adverse effects to the new grass plants.
Hold off until the lawn has become well-established. Again, we fall back on the general rule of thumb that if the lawn has been mowed twice, it is probably established enough that additional treatments can be performed.
A Wise Lawn Care Partnership
There’s no question that the decisions you make for your lawn (including proper watering) are important and can make a huge difference in the success of its growth. But so can the decisions that you make in professional lawn care services. Choosing wisely when it comes to professional lawn care is critically important as not all companies are created equal.
The goal is to find a professional that you can truly “partner with” in order to achieve the best possible results. With your lawn care pro fulfilling their “end of the bargain”—and you performing your responsibilities—you can ensure that you’re truly getting the best results by working together.
Of course, you also want to find a company that will be there for you when you need them.
We know that you care about the investment you’ve made in your lawn, but you don’t always have all the answers when it comes to what it needs. That’s why we’re always available to answer questions about how to water grass—or any other concerns you have for that matter. By working together, we believe that we can help get you the lush, green lawn that you desire.
If you’re ready to have a fantastic-looking lawn at your Ashburn, Aldie, or Leesburg, VA home, talk to an expert, choose a solution that rocks, and get ready to be completely satisfied with your great results.
Image sources: lawn irrigation