Newly installed turf has very important watering needs. Proper watering immediately after installation will ensure the turf becomes established, and it will also have an impact on how well the lawn continues to flourish for years to come. Begin watering new turf within half hour after it is laid on the soil. Apply at least 2 to 3 cm (1 inch) of water so that the soil beneath the turf is very wet. Ideally the soil 7 to 10cm (3 to 4 inches) below the surface should be moist.
Below we have listed some watering tips:
- Pull back a corner of the turf and push a screwdriver or other sharp tool into the soil. It should push in easily and have moisture along the first 7 to 10cm (3 to 4 inches), or you need to apply more water.
- Make absolutely certain that water is getting to all areas of your new lawn, regardless of the type of sprinkling system you use. Corners and edges are easily missed by many sprinklers (if windy) and are particularly vulnerable to drying out faster than the centre portion of your lawn. Also areas near buildings dry out faster because of reflected heat and may require more water.
- Runoff may occur on some soils and sloped areas before the soil is adequately moist. To conserve water and ensure adequate soak in, turn off the water when runoff begins, wait 30 mins to an hour and restart the watering on the same area. Repeating this start and stop process until correct soil moisture is achieved. For the next two weeks keep the below-turf soil surface moist with daily (or more frequent) watering. Especially hot, dry or windy periods will necessitate increased watering amounts and frequency.
- As the turf starts to establish its new roots into the soil, it will be difficult, impossible and/or harmful to pull back a corner to check beneath the turf, but you can still use a sharp tool to check moisture depth by pushing it through the turf and into the soil.
- Water as early in the morning as possible to take advantage of the daily start of the grass’s normal growing cycle, usually lower wind speeds and considerably less of water loss because of high temperature evaporation.
- If the temperature approaches 37°C (100°F), or high winds are constant for more than half of the day, reduce the temperature of the turf surface by lightly sprinkling the area. This sprinkling does not replace the need for longer, deeper watering, which will become even more critical during adverse weather conditions.
- Infrequent and deep watering is preferred to frequent and shallow watering because the roots will only grow as deeply as its most frequently available water supply. Deeply rooted grass has a larger “soil-water bank” to draw moisture from and this will help the grass survive drought and hot weather that rapidly dries out the upper soil layer.
- Water thoroughly and regularly after the turf has been laid to encourage a deep and vigorous root system (turf will be able to fossick for water and therefore be more able to withstand hot dry conditions).
- Once the root system has been fully established, water thoroughly only when needed-when a slight wilting is visible, usually once every 7-10 days in summer (on sandy soils more often), with much less or no water in cooler months.
- Remember that infrequent, deep watering promotes a healthy lawn.
It is best to water in the early morning; night watering is not recommended.
- For your current water restrictions please contact your local Council or our Turf Consultants.