To help understand the underlying concepts behind our quick guidelines for watering new lawns, consider the following analogy. Think of the roots of your newly installed lawn as straws through which the plant drinks water. The roots grow into the soil, which can be considered a glass of water for this analogy. Now imagine yourself drinking from a very tall glass with a straw that will only reach 1/2 inch deep. In order for you to get enough daily water, you will need to fill the glass with small amounts of water numerous times throughout the day. As time passes, your straw gets longer and you can access water from deeper in the glass. The longer your straw, the less often you need to fill the glass. Ultimately, your straw can reach the bottom and you are able to fill your glass with the full amount of water once every other day.
This is very close to what is going on with your new lawn. At first, the roots are very shallow and cannot access the deeper water. To keep the lawn hydrated you will need to water 3 times per day for short periods of time. In the second week, the roots have begun to penetrate deeper into the soil and you can water less often (2 times per day). In the third week the roots are even deeper and you can water once per day. Ultimately your lawn will be established and you should be able to water every other day if you increase the time appropriately.
Be careful not to over water your new lawn. Too much water can deprive the roots of oxygen and retard development or possibly even kill the lawn. During the warm humid summer months, too much water can increase the likelihood of disease. If you are concerned that you may be applying too much water, reduce the watering time until you begin to see lawn wilt, than increase your time by a small amount.
Because of the differences between irrigation systems, soil types, weather conditions, and site conditions, we cannot accurately estimate irrigation times for you. Follow our lawn watering guidelines and learn to recognize when your lawn is dry.