How long can grass seed go without water?

 How long can grass seed go without water? The answer is, grass seed cannot go without water or at least some moisture. However, if conditions force and you got limited or no water for your grass seeds, their survival, however short, shall depend on several factors. Those are how old the seeds are, the vegetation and structures near your lawn, whether it’s a fresh lawn or you’re seeding an already existing lawn, the type of seeds you sow, and much more. Let’s get into details.

Factors that dictate how long grass seed can go without watering

 Is it a new lawn, or are you oversowing on an existing lawn?

Watering really depends on where you have sown your seeds. If the seeds have been sown on open ground, you definitely have to water them on a daily routine if they have to survive. On the other hand, if the seeds are sown on an existing lawn, we will have to reschedule the watering routine to ensure both the new layer and the old layer benefit, if at all you have been watering the lawn before. However, if you have not been watering the lawn, but it is healthy, you can design a watering schedule for the new layer though it will help both layers. That is very important in determining after how long the grass seed is to be watered and answering how long the grass seed can go without water? Water retaining on a lawn that is already established is relatively high, while that of a new grass lawn is relatively low. This means that if you are oversowing your grass seed on an already established lawn, maybe to fill out the spaces, you can go longer without water compared to when you are dealing with a new lawn. The question, however, is how long? A new grass lawn should not go a day without water; some seeds might survive if they are still dormant, while others cannot germinate at all since the moisture supply would have been cut off abruptly.

 The type of grass seed you sow


 Grass seeds come in very many different varieties. You have chosen one or two types to have on your lawn depending on the preference, what you already have on the lawn or how you plan on making the lawn look like in the end. The type of grass variety you choose to sow will greatly determine the type of care you take for the grass seed. Watering them is the most basic type of care you would give to grass seeds after sowing. However, the type of seeds you sow will greatly determine how regularly you water them alongside other maintenance practices. Now some seeds can usually stay dormant for a long time before they can sprout. When the type of seed you sow is one of these kinds, it might take several weeks without water and still sprout. However, if the seed you sow is not the dormant type, you shall need to have it watered regularly on a schedule. Preferably, each evening, the seed should have enough water but not too much water. Additionally, having to water the seed every evening would speed up its sprouting, even if it’s one of the dormant types.  

 Vegetation and structures near the lawn


A newly sown bare open lawn

In such a lawn, if you leave the seeds for a day or two without watering, you might have to replant on some parts or, worse sometimes, the whole grass lawn. The water retention, in this case, is very low, and the lawn needs to be moist enough for the seeds to germinate and grow healthily.

We have to talk about this to know how long the seeds can really sit on the lawn without any water and still survive. A lawn sitting under dense tree vegetation is likely to have newly sown seeds survive for long without water. On the other side, when a lawn is situated in open ground, the water retainance is likely to be a bit low. This would mean that it should be watered regularly if you sow your grass seed in an open area. Every evening would make a nice schedule for seeds that are sown in an open ground. They might sit a day without being watered, but the survival will be quite shoddy if this goes on for some time. However, if the grass lawn is under dense vegetation, maybe you are undersowing the grass seed, or you are trying to fill up spaces on a regular lawn, or generally, the lawn is under a shade, the seeds can sit for long enough before getting water. On such a lawn, the schedule can be a little flexible in that you cannot worry about the survival of the grass seeds even if they go without water for three days. An example of the bare and open lawn below would need effective watering on a daily schedule.

Important inquiries about grass seed and watering


When is the best time to water grass seeds?

Depending on where the grass lawn is located, you might want to water your grass seed on a schedule of every day to after every two or three days. We have talked about water retention and how different seed types can cope for some time without water. However, we have to be very keen to make sure the seeds have sufficient moisture to help them germinate. Regular watering is what actually maintains the moisture content, and so it should be as often as you can manage.

Which type of seed can go longest without watering

Many types of grass seed would need regular watering to germinate and for the grass to grow. However, some few types of grass can go for long and cope with minimal moisture contents but still be relatively healthy even in the dry summer. An example of the Bermuda Grass would go for long without water but still be okay.

Which is the best grass seed for overseeding?

The best grass for overseeding would be cold season grass types. To be specific, the Jonathan green, black beauty is highly recommended. It’s a grass seed mix that can easily grow between existing grass on the lawn. It is easy to germinate and quickly fill out the spaces that either harsh weather conditions or abuse might have created. It is easy to grow. It’s basically the best type of grass seed mix that can work out for overseeding.

How often should grass seed be watered?

 Grass seed should be watered very regularly, but it depends on many factors, as we have seen above. However, it is even better when we have a standard regular watering schedule. It can be daily or once every two days or maybe three. Depending on the seeds you sow, your schedule can be inflexible or fixed. Here are the most common grass seed types and how regular they should be watered.


How often they should be watered

Minimum water requirement

( Per week)

1. Bermuda grass

Once a day


2. Buffalo grass

3-4 times a day


3. Carpet grass

1-2 times a week


4. Zoysia

3-4 times a day


5. St. Augustine grass

Once a day



Twice a day


 Check out this video on the best way to water your newly seeded lawn until germination.


Some grass types can go for so long without, while others need watering on a daily routine. We, therefore, do not have a specific duration we can say grass seed can go without water. But if we come down to different types and their individual requirements, we can determine how long a specific grass seed type can go without water. It is important to have a watering schedule for your grass seed if you have to succeed with the lawn, whether new or overseeding. So, how long can grass seed go without water? It all depends on which seed it is and what the individual requirements are. Many grass seed manufacturers specify the requirements. This can help decide on how long they can go without water.

Leave a Comment