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How much water is required for optimum germination of KBG?

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by 1966vette, Apr 25, 2010.

  1. 1966vette

    1966vette LawnSite Member
    Messages: 209

    How much water is required for optimum germination of KBG?

    I just finished tilling, raking and leveling, seeding, rolling and initial watering 1 acre of my lawn. What a JOB!

    I used the following high quality seed:
    9PSOD Premium Sod Blend (3 lb/1000 sq ft) ........................3.95+
    25% NuDestiny Kentucky Bluegrass 15% Midnight Kentucky Bluegrass
    25% Impact Kentucky Bluegrass 10% Bewitched Kentucky Bluegrass
    25% Beyond Kentucky Bluegrass
    *A beautiful lawn of top rated Kentucky Bluegrass varieties
    *Excellent disease resistance *Use in full sun to partial shade
    *Requires higher maintenance (more watering and fertilizer)

    I watered the front and side areas around the house to keep the soil moist but it is very difficult to keep the areas far away from the house moist on a 2 acre lot w/ an acre of grass.

    Here is my problem / question: I sowed the seed in the far back of my yard last weekend and provided only an initial watering. The weather last week here in Kokomo, IN has been dry with temperatures in the low 70’s. Thus, the new seed went w/o water for 7 days. This weekend we finally got some rain and more rain is forecasted into Tuesday. I hope to be able to keep the soil in the back yard moist but I will need some help from Mother Nature.

    Did the new seed start to germinate after the initial watering or does it requires a few days of moisture like it is currently receiving this weekend?

    Do you think the new seed is already dead because the soil dried out because it only had an initial watering?

    I realize that keeping the soil moist is KEY during the germination period but 1 guy and 3 hoses can only do so much watering.

    Thanks in advance for helping!

    I am praying for rain!
  2. bigslick7878

    bigslick7878 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 809

    LOL trying to water an acre lawn with a hose.

    1. Buy a sprinkler, a GOOD one. Lowes is the best place to get them, Home Depots selection is garbage. You are going to end up paying about $45 a piece but they will last forever. Those babies can cover a lot of ground, lift the spring up so it goes full circle and you can probably cover an acre by moving it a few times. You want the one that has 3 long spikes that go into the ground.

    Like this one....


    You don't need the stand and they don't sell them anyway.

    2. I am guesssing you are overseeding, and not starting from scratch. When you overseed the shade from the existing grass and the morning dew can "get you by" as long as temps are not crazy. You will not get the proper germination as it needs real water every day. The seed will not dry out in those type of conditions this time of year.

    But in general the seed needs to be kept as moist as possible at all times.
  3. lukemelo216

    lukemelo216 LawnSite Bronze Member
    from ...
    Messages: 1,267

    basically you want 1" of water per week, at the beginning it should be done a 2 times per day, 1 time in the am and again in the early afternoon. After about 2 weeks go to 1 time per day (early am) South side of house, areas on slopes, and areas next to pavement should get watered extra (usually 3 times) just do it again around like 2 and 3pm. I usually try to get people to water between 730 and 830 (start time) 1100 and 12. After about 1 to 1.5 months you should be able to just water it 1 time per week about 1" or so. Make sure once things start to germinate, to just hand pull weeds out. and then cut it after it gets about 5-6" tall but only down to about 3" at max. Try to get a good starter fertilizer on it asap, then again in about 8 weeks. I would recommend to aerate and overseed again during the fall to help it fill in come spring time. you will also need to make sure to fill in any missed spots once things start to germinate.

    basically just remember to keep the south side of the lawn moist, areas next to drives and patios moist, slopes, moist, and the north side and shaded areas can be watered less probably just once per day
  4. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,497

    I will agree with part or portions of the above post for advice, however, some of it is a little incorrect. First, established turfgrass will and does require about an inch of water a week, but for non established grass, there is no saying any amount, as there are many variables (soil type, leading to ability to hold moisture, etc.). The first thing you need to understand, is that when you plant grass, you are watering 3 different things. First, all you need to do is make sure the very top layer stays CONSISTENTLY moist. Then, as the grass starts germinating, as stated above, cut back on your watering frequencies but lengthen the time slightly. The reason for this, is that as the new plants sprout, AND as root system start to develop, they have a tendency to retain a bit of moisture in the soil. The reason for the longer watering times, is to get the water just a little deeper to reach the root system. As it matures, less frequency needed, but longer times. Whatever you do, KEEP the soil DAMP. Do NOT let the new plants go dry. If they dry out and die, that's it...they're gone and will never come back.

    Do NOT wait and let the existing grass get too tall (like the 5" as stated above). This will not only hinder the new grass from growing, but will also hinder new seed germination because of lack of light. On top of that,when you try to cut this juicy mess, you would be more prone to clumping and clogging of the new grass - not to mention you will be cutting into stem material. Definitely do the starter fert, but I wouldn't wait 8 weeks for the next ap. I always do it in about 4.
  5. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,497

    Edit: Double post
  6. SeedPro

    SeedPro LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,030

    You need to keep the seed and the soil "cool and moist" but not overly wet for extended periods.

    However many times you need to water depends on a lot of things.....but basically I recommend watering three times a day for 10 minutes each time, or twice a day for 25.

    Pray for rain.

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