How to Properly Water Your New Turf After Installation

When it comes to laying new turf, proper care and maintenance are vital to ensure its survival. As a first-time turfer, it’s natural to have questions and concerns about how to water your new lawn and ensure its healthy growth. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll answer all your questions and provide you with valuable insights on watering your new turf.

Watering New Turf

To achieve the best results, it is recommended to water your new turf daily for 2-4 weeks after installation. Make sure the water filters through into the soil beneath the turf. During very hot weather, you may need to water more frequently. In wet weather, it’s important to check that the soil beneath your lawn remains damp, as rain alone may not be sufficient. Remember, if the soil dries out, your turf may shrink and your lawn could die.

Watering New Turf

The Best Time to Water Grass

Contrary to popular belief, watering your lawn daily is not ideal. When you water your lawn every day, the grass roots become reliant and shallow, resulting in poor-quality grass. Instead, it’s recommended to water your new lawn once a week for around an hour. In the middle of summer, 1 square meter of lawn needs approximately 20 liters of water every seven days.

Why Does Your New Turf Need Daily Watering?

Daily watering is essential for the survival of your new turf. Grass is comprised of 85% water, and it relies on this crucial resource for its existence. When turf is freshly harvested, a large portion of its root system is missing. Unlike established grass plants, freshly laid turf lacks the ability to draw water from deep soil. Therefore, it depends on you to ensure it has access to an adequate water supply until new roots grow.

Depending on the time of year, it usually takes 2-4 weeks for newly-laid turf to regrow enough roots to become self-sufficient. During the summer, it’s advisable to water your turf twice a day for the first week, and then 2-3 times a week thereafter until it has fully rooted.

When to Water Your New Turf

You should water your new turf as soon as it is laid. If you have a large lawn, it may be helpful to have a sprinkler working on one section while you lay the next bit. This will encourage the roots to sink deep into the soil, ensuring proper growth. It’s important to water your new turf every single day, even if it rains. Check that the soil beneath your lawn is adequately damp. On hot days, you may need to water more than once.

The best practice is to water your turf either early in the morning or late in the evening. During these times, the air is cooler, and water evaporation is minimal. This means most of the water will be absorbed by the soil, providing the necessary hydration to your lawn.

Watering Equipment
Watering Equipment
Watering Equipment

How Much Water Does Your New Turf Need?

The amount of water required for your new turf depends on various factors such as weather conditions, soil type, and the environment in your garden. A garden exposed to wind and sun will likely dry out faster than a sheltered area.

For the first watering after installation, it’s recommended to be generous with the amount of water you use. It’s okay to have puddles sitting on top of the lawn as the water will soon soak through. For subsequent watering sessions, use your best judgment. It’s better to have slightly more water than too little. However, continuous waterlogging can be harmful. Avoid having water sit on the surface for more than 10-15 minutes, but make sure the top 10cm of soil beneath your turf is adequately damp within about 30 minutes of finishing watering.

Within a few days, you will develop a sense of how much water your lawn needs. Sometimes, we are more in tune with nature than we realize!

What If You Don’t Give Your New Turf Enough Water?

If you neglect to water your newly laid turf, the leaves and roots will lose bulk, and each turf will shrink. This will undermine your effort to ensure the edges are tightly butted together. The leaves at the edge of each turf may turn yellow and then brown, while the grass in the middle will become patchy and unhealthy. Eventually, the turf will die. In hot weather, unwatered turves can perish within 48-72 hours.

Most turf suppliers will refuse to refund you if your turf dies due to lack of water, resulting in a complete loss of your investment.

What to Do If Your New Turf Starts to Look Dry

If you notice gaps between turves or signs of dryness, it’s crucial to take immediate action. Water your lawn 2-3 times a day to re-wet the soil. If the grass survives but gaps remain, you may need to fill them with enriched soil mixed with grass seed.

Ideally, you should prevent your lawn from drying out in the first place. If you are unable to water it yourself, consider asking a neighbor for help or installing an irrigation system with a timer.

Remember, a well-watered lawn is a healthy lawn!

Related Information:

  • When to feed a new lawn
  • When can I use my new lawn?
  • Mowing your new lawn for the first time