Nationwide Delivery

We deliver all over the UK.

Advice Centre

Great tips for lawns, seeds & turf.

Bespoke Mixes

We can tailor mix your own bespoke wildflower mix.

Trade Customers

Buy in bulk at special rates, please get in touch for more details.

Watering New Lawns Advice on Watering New Lawns


Water shortages and summer heatwaves are becoming more frequent because of climate change, so we can expect to face increasing restrictions such as hosepipe bans, which can make it difficult to sow new lawns from seed, over-seed existing lawns or lay new lawns from turf.
Here are some tips for establishing new lawns to maximise available water resources:


1. Keep an eye on the weather forecast and try to time your grass seed sowing just before a bout of showery whether where possible.
2. Before starting any soil cultivation for your seed planting, make sure you have your seed and other materials ready to hand so that you can till and prepare the soil quickly and immediately sow the seed. In this way you reduce moisture loss from the soil.
3. Where possible, if the budget allows, incorporate materials such as seaweed granules or Zeba moisture retention granules. These materials will store large quantities of water and give it back to the plant once a root penetrates the material.
4. Once sown, cover the seeded lawn area with germination sheets. These allow rain or irrigation to reach through to the soil, but reduce evapotranspiration rates from the seed bed. For contractors, these are a good investment as they are inexpensive and can be utilised time and again.
5. Be aware that the grass seed is most vulnerable when it has started to ‘chit’, ie started to throw out a radical (root) and a shoot (leaf). This is the period when the emerging plant should not be starved of water. Prior to this happening, the seed can live for some time without water without coming to too much harm.
6. Grass seeds take anything from 5 days in warm, moist spring weather to 30 days to germinate, depending on the grass species.
7. If prolonged dry weather is encountered after the lawn has received its first mow, keep the height of the cut well up. This should be at a minimum 50mm. Although this will result in less moisture loss from the soil and plants, it will inevitably lead to some early loss of sward density, but at least it will help to keep the lawn alive. The sward density can be improved by more frequent mowing and feeding once normal watering can be resumed.
8. Choosing seed mixtures containing grass species that germinate quickly is helpful, and this generally means the inclusion of Perennial ryegrass. Selecting species that have extensive root systems which can scavenge for water, such as Tall fescue, will help to drought-proof lawns once established.

Can you Overwater Grass Seed?

Establishing a new lawn with a shortage of water is one thing – but people also often ask if grass seed can be overwatered. Indeed, it can – new grass should be watered daily if possible, to be kept consistently moist until the seeds sprout, but too much water can wash the seeds away, or they can rot in the ground. Excess mud could also literally bog seeds down, slowing and stopping germination.
When should I Stop Watering New Grass Seeds?
Grass seeds need watering at least twice a day (morning and late afternoon) until they have germinated, which could take between a week and a month depending on the type of grass and environmental conditions. Once all the seeds have sprouted evenly and the shoots are a couple of inches tall you can cut down to a light watering every second or third day. By the time the grass is around 4 inches high you can give it the first mowing, then start a routine watering once or twice a week (depending on the weather).


1. Newly laid turf needs to be kept damp for the first 28 days in order to establish successfully. At most times of the year newly laid turf usually gets enough moisture from the soil and from occasional rainfall to satisfy its needs.
Turf is laid throughout the year except August, but turf laid in the months April to July is most at risk of failure from lack of moisture. Without sufficient rainwater newly laid turf needs watering with a hosepipe or sprinkler.
The TGA (Turf Growers Association) recommends that the maximum amount of water required to establish newly laid turf over a period of 28 days, whether from rainfall or through supplemental irrigation, is 63 litres per m2. This water is needed in differing amounts during the establishment phase:
Days 1-3 10 litres per m2
Days 4-5 5 litres per m2
Days 6-28 1 litre per m2
Total 63 litres per m2
2. Tips for Watering Newly Laid Turf:
• When you prepare the ground for turfing, use a soil conditioner to increase the soil’s ability to retain moisture.
• Plan ahead to prevent the turf drying out: don’t have more turf delivered in a day than you can lay.
• Finish your ground preparation well before the turf delivery. This way, you will be able to start laying the turf as soon as it arrives. The quicker you lay the turf the less chance it has of drying out.
• When your turf is delivered stack it in a shady place.
• Dampen the ground immediately before laying.
• Tamp the turf down lightly as you lay it to ensure good contact with the soil underneath.
• When you have finished turfing, water straight away. The first watering should ensure that the soil is damp to a depth of 100mm. Aim to keep the turf, and the soil under it, damp – you can check this by turning up a corner of the turf.
• In the days following, water only in the early morning or in the early evening, so the sun doesn’t burn off the water you’ve added.
• It’s important not to over-water your turf. Over-watering will create boggy conditions – and promote grass diseases.
• Water less and less frequently over the next 28 days. The turf should never be allowed to dry out and go brown in this period.

Jubilee Seeds stock a wide range of grass seed including clover lawn grass seed, back garden grass seed, all purpose grass seed, shade grass seed and ornamental grass seed.

Large Quantities or Special Mixes

For a FREE no obligation quote and specialist advice please call: 01531 825 299 or email: