How & When to Water your Lawn


Do I really need to water my grass?

Shoild I water my grass?

Here in the UK the only time you will have to water your lawn is during Summer even then you may not need to water it at all unless there is a prolonged period without rain during the summer.

When planting grass seeds you will have to water your seedlings until they have germinated and fully grown roots, read on an find out what everyone ought to know about watering lawns & grass seeds.

What happens if I don't water my grass seed?

If you're really lucky then nothing, your grass seed will grow and all will be well.

Ideally when planting grass seed you should water the seed bed and the seedlings thoroughly, if you don't the chances are you will have a mass of grass seeds that struggles to germinate.

If you don't water your seeds, best case scenario is you end up with some weak grass, worst case scenario you've got some expensive bird feed.

Do I need to water it right away?

Yes, when you plant your new grass seed please water the bed and the seed thoroughly.

Whilst the seeds are germinating try to keep them  and the soil underneath moist at all times.

What if it rains?

Happy days! Mother nature just done your job for you but light showers may not be enough and heavy rain could displace your seeds - use your best judgement and keep the seeds & soil moist.

Should I soak it before planting?

No. It is common to germinate some other types of seed by soaking it in water but this simply isn't necessary for grass seed, you should soak the seed thoroughly when you have planted it out. 

How often should you water grass seed?

It depends on the time of year and recent amount of rain fall.

During Spring or Autumn there may be no need to water at all but if you go a few days without any rain or abnormally good temperatures then feel the seeds and bed, if it's dry give it a water.

During the summer you should water in the morning - preferably before Sunrise or whenever the sun shines on your grass and then again at Sunset or whenever the sun stops shining on your grass. Why so much? The summer sun will quickly evaporate any moisture at surface level drying out your seeds.

Can I over-water grass seeds?

Yes! Over watering can be a problem, especially if your lawn bed isn't free draining.

Any water that hits your lawn bed should be absorbed quickly by the soil. If the water pools on the top where the seed lays you could displace the seeds making for a very patchy lawn.

Notice water pooling in your lawn? Get the garden fork out and loosen the soil. It's likely you didn't prepare your lawn for seeding.

How often should I water my fully grown lawn?

You will only need to water a fully grown lawn in the summer or during long periods without rainfall. Lawns are hardy plants and can often go weeks without water.

Here in the UK it is highly unlikely your lawn will completely die from drought, it may turn yellow for a while but it should recover with time, rain, some maintenance like re-seeding, feeding and watering.

Watering your lawn every 7-10 days is a good compromise during drought, it will keep your lawn green and nourished. Try to make sure the water penetrates the soil to reach the roots of your lawn.

What time of day is best for watering a lawn?

Morning or night? Which is best? Personally we prefer watering when the sun goes down and the temperatures are lower, this prevents the day time heat from evaporating the water. 

If you are an early bird and like to be up at the crack of dawn then first thing in the morning also works.

If it has been unseasonable warm, it can help to water your lawn in the morning, scorching unrelenting heat can and will damage your lawn, this is not very likely in the UK but if you ever do find yourself in this situation then watering in the morning can also prevent the grass from becoming damaged in the high day time heat..

What is best? A hose, sprinkler or watering can?

There are many ways to skin a cat and just as many ways to water your lawn. Rain, a hose, a sprinkler or even the humble watering can but what is the best way to water your grass?

This is down to personal preference and what you have available, we like Sprinklers simply because they cover a large area and once switched on you can do other things whilst it does it's job (not so much with a hose or a watering can).

How to water using a hose:

  • Use a spray gun attachment with a light mist, this will mimic rainfall and prevent displacing any seeds or grass.
  • Ensure you cover the whole of the lawn, if your lawn is on a hill or slant, start from the top and work your way down.
  • Always water really early in the morning or later on at night once the hottest part of the day has passed.

How to water using a sprinkler:

  • Place the sprinkler where it is needed, if it doesn't cover the whole area start at the top and work your way down.
  • Remember to use the sprinkler later in the evening, this will prevent the sun / heat from evaporating the water.
  • Turn it on & let it do it's job, they may not be the most Eco-friendly but they are very convenient.

How to water using a watering can:

  • Quick and easy way to water your lawn, it may take several back and forwards trips to a tap to cover your whole lawn.
  • Ensure you have a rose attachment, this will ensure even distribution of the water across your lawn.
  • An advantage of using a watering can is that you can include fertilizers rather easily when compared to hose or sprinklers.

5 tips you should follow for a healthy lawn:

Aerate your lawn for healthy roots:

Compacted soil will damage your lawn and/or prevent grass seed from growing. As the soil is compacted, less moisture reaches and nourishes the roots and when planting grass seed it can prevent seedlings from growing strong roots.

Aerating is easy, grab a garden fork, pierce some holes and pull the soil up a little. There are also many dedicated lawn aerators that will make your life easier but they are not required, a garden fork does the job.

Fertilize your grass for greener shoots:

Like all plants grass needs fed. Nourish it and it will repay you tend fold with bright green blades. Dry fertilizers such as chicken poo or bone, blood and meal can be difficult to spread evenly - you want a liquid fertilizer.

Grass also likes Iron, it will make it greener and prevent moss from growing in your lawn. Cold pressed seaweed with added iron makes a great all year round feed for preventing moss and nourishing your lawn.

When fertilizing with a liquid lawn feed we recommend using a garden sprayer or watering can with a fine rose.

Get rid of lawn weeds fast!

Weeds grow in lawns, it's just what happens. You can try as many weed killers or pick them out till the cows come home but ultimately you cannot prevent nature indefinitely but if you want a weed free lawn it's best to tackle it quickly.

There are many types of lawn weeds from Daisies to Daffodils to Trefoil, they'll grow back every Spring and compete with your grass for nourishment and space.

One great way to keep weeds out your lawn is to let your grass grow a little longer, this will prevent weeds from ever sprouting, shade the weeds before they shade your grass.

Overseed thin or bare patches:

Seen a bare patch of soil in your lawn? Maybe your dog dug it up a little? Or urinated on it!

One top tip from us to you, the minute you see a bare patch on your lawn be sure to get some fast growing grass seed on it. If there is one thing that weeds love it's bare soil, keep some grass seed on hand to overseed your lawn whenever it's needed.

Mow often and don't take too much off!

Did you know every single time you mow your lawn you damage your grass?

Yes that's right, you mow, your grass gets damaged, it repairs itself and grows, then you damage it again!

The problem many make is that they let there grass grow too long then cut it way to short. You should mow little and often, try taking no more than 10-20% off it per cut and allow 10-20 days between cuts.

Sure it may take you a while to get your grass down to an acceptable height if you've let it overgrow but it'll thank you for it.

About the author 


Hey there, I am founder and editor in chief here at Good Grow. I guess I've always known I was going to be a gardener. I'm on a mission to share my UK based weed control & lawn care tips with you all. If you have any queries please post in the comments below.

    • Yes, you can, it saves the hassle of watering it in, although if it’s really light you may have to water it in whilst it’s raining….

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