Watering Seedlings


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Old 09-27-15, 11:49 AM
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Watering Seedlings

I just overseeded my lawn (fescue mix) and am wondering when the best time to water would be and how frequently to water during the germination phase. I used Scott's Water Smart seed, which has a blue coating and is apparently 85% germinated out of the bag. It's a relatively small area (less than 1000 sq ft) so I'll be watering by hand. Watering during the day is not an option, so morning and evening are the times I am able to. Should I water in both the evening and morning until the seedlings hatch? If I can get by with watering once per day, that would be preferable, and the evening would be more convenient, but I'm not sure if that is best. I spent a considerable amount of effort prepping the lawn (core aerated and dethached by hand, top dressed with peat/manure), so I really need/want to be successful. Last time I overseeded (Spring), not one seedling hatched and I dont want that to happen again.
 
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Old 09-27-15, 04:35 PM
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Personally I don't like to fight Mother Nature much... If your seed is out now I think that is a good start. When the conditions are right they will sprout. But if you want you can try light watering before you go to work and at night before dark. Or, just watering in the evening will help.

One big factor I've learned is soil contact for the seed. If just sprinkling seed around the germination rate is very low. If I scrape up the lawn actually creating little furrows in the soil then the germination rate is much higher. Later in fall it's very evident when the new seedlings are in the rows where I scraped the ground.
 
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Old 09-27-15, 04:41 PM
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I never watered in the evening. Too much chance of mold/mildew. Main thing is to keep the soil moist...not wet. Should be cooling off there pretty much, so once a day should be plenty.

Once it sprouts, you want to water once per day deeply to promote root growth.
 
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Old 09-28-15, 07:20 AM
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Have to keep the seed moist until it germinates. How often that is will be determined by you. Right now, I can get by on once a day because it isn't hot here any more. Three weeks ago I had to water twice a day.
 
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Old 09-28-15, 07:33 AM
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Thanks fellas. I watered it lightly yesterday evening and it was still damp this morning. I went ahead and lightly watered it again this morning. It will be overcast all week with a chance of rain each day, so mother nature should hopefully take care of it for me.
 
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Old 10-07-15, 05:55 PM
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Today is day ten and I'm finally seeing some sprouts. Very sparse though. Hopefully it starts to fill in over the next week. I'm surprised anything is growing after the onslaught of rain over the past week (5"). About half of my top dressing washed away and took the seed with it. I'm not sure I'm motivated enough to top dress and reseed again this season. Maybe I'll try again in the Spring.
 
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Old 10-08-15, 05:06 AM
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I over seeded this fall and saw nothing for several weeks. I think our temperatures were too high but once we finally got fall temperatures it started to take off.
 
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Old 10-09-15, 07:47 AM
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Yeah, my seed seemed to take a lot longer this fall than I thought it should have as well. I was about ready to give up and re-seed when I finally saw some sprouts. Now if I could keep the rabbits from eating it....
 
 

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