Watering Instructions after Fescue Seeding

It is very important to follow the watering and care instructions detailed below over the next few weeks in order to insure proper germination of your tall fescue seed. You can't overwater during the first 7 days - the more the better. As the seedlings come up, you can gradually cut back on the frequency of irrigation while increasing the duration.

Try to keep traffic off the seedbed as much as possible, especially during the first few weeks while the seedlings are tender. As leaves begin to drop this fall, you'll need to blow or carefully rake leaves up so that they won't accumulate on top of the seedlings. Mowing and bagging the leaves is a good way to keep you new turf clean also. A good seed job can really be hurt if leaves pile up too much, so please keep leaves off as much as possible.

The chart below is a general guideline on watering. With your first watering, really soak the seed into the ground well with several hours of watering. After that, you can begin the routine of watering 2-3 times per day for about 15 minutes per cycle. If you cannot water twice daily, just increase the time to about 40 minutes every day and you'll still be OK. The seeds are very shallow in the soil, so you just need to keep the top inch of soil moist during germination.

As the seedlings develop deeper root systems, you'll need to water longer in order to moist the soil to a depth of about 6". Fall weather can sometimes be warm and dry, so if that is the case, you'll need to water even more than what is detailed below. If Mother Nature cooperates though, and we get some good soaking rains, you can cut back some on this schedule.

  Watering FrequencyWatering Times
Week 1 2-3 times daily 15-20 minutes
Week 2 Daily 20-30 minutes
Weeks 3-4 Every other day 25-30 minutes
After Week 4 Every 3 days 30-40 minutes

We'll return in about 3-4 weeks to check on your seedlings and overseed any thin areas. If you water well, you should begin to seed seedlings come up in about 10-12 days, with a fairly thick stand of hair-like seedlings within about 6 weeks. Your fescue will really begin to thicken up and fill in thin areas as it matures next spring.

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