Watering after over-seeding: plan and template?

Since many of us will go through aeration and over-seeding with a different schedule, I was hoping that someone has already developed a “how to” guide and template. From what I could gather so far, it looks like I need to water 3 times/day in week 1, 2 times in week 2 and once daily in week 3.
I am located in Raleigh, NC with fescue and normally run FLEX DAILY with SMART CYCLE on.

So, are my assumptions below reasonable?
1 I have to create 3 fixed schedules for the seeded zones (for each daily watering time in week 1)
2 disable these zones in flex without losing the settings
3 and can leave all other zones active in FLEX

Next question is how much to water for best germination?
1 should I use weather intelligence, smart cycle and rain sensor to prevent over watering?
2 how do I factor in the AW and moisture calculations? Can the goal be achieved by aiming at keeping it just above 100% field capacity, or are all these thoughts going out the window for this 3 week period?
3 what do I miss?

I would very much appreciate if someone in this community could point me to a knowledge base article, or if someone would be willing to share what they have done last season or plan to do this season with the do’s and don’t’s.

In the meantime, happy watering and fun with rachio. What a great tool!


I will only address the run times for best germination. The goal is to keep the top two inches moist. I run my rotors for five minutes four times per day. I run my sprays for 2 minutes five times a day until I have good germination. About 5 to 10 days after germination I start backing off the watering depending on the weather. I am excited this year to try Texas bluegrass mixed with a blend of three fescue varieties, I am bumping my bluegrass percentage to 30 percent because Texas A&M bred this grass for the southern Plains. Despite using Pillar G fungicide I still lost some fescue to brown patch. Since I removed a tree I am converting much of my yard to good old Bermuda. Don’t fret over field capacity or anything like that. Just keep the seed bed moist. You live in a state with one of the best turf programs in the nation. What does NCSU recommend?



I’ll try to answer what @robertokc didn’t (since he is the irrigation expert, I just know the software really well)

Seems reasonable to me.

Maybe just leave rain skip enabled? The others seem counter-intuitive to the goal you are setting out.


Hi, @hgugger! Glad to see someone else from the Carolina’s on the forum! I’m in Charlotte.

I set up my fixed schedules for over seeding last year, and last year I ran them with the Flex turned off. This year I was thinking of leaving all the zones that are seeded (which in my case will be my entire lawn) in Flex Daily, as well as running the overseeding fixed schedules. My thinking was that the rest of the grass still might like to get watered deep enough, and that the waterings get factored into the flex daily moisture levels anyway – it would be a little like getting a small amount of rain 3 times a day.

I’d love to hear what some of the other folks on this forum think about handling it this way.

@robertokc, all I can find about watering and overseeding in the NCSU TurfFiles is “Keep renovated areas moist with light sprinklings several times a day. As the seedlings, plugs, or sprigs grow, continue to decrease the frequency of watering while increasing the duration to promote deep rooting. After the third mowing, water to a depth of 6 inches.”

I have my fixed overseeding schedules set up with smart cycle, seasonal shift and climate skip all off, and rain skip and freeze skip on. Smart cycle won’t matter one way or the other as the longest amount of time I water is 4 minutes, so it wouldn’t function anyway. Freeze skip probably won’t matter either, but better to be safe.


Thank you @franz. Agree with logic, and will do. :wink:

great insights @robertokc. Never thought keeping a yard looking lush during an unusually hot summer could be so much fun and research. But at my pedestrian level, I have contracted out seed and chemical work on an annual basis to excellent guys. If i have a concern or weed showing up outside of schedule, they would always come out and remedy without additional charge. Makes my life a breeze, and I can focus on irrigation. Appreciate your input on scheduling, will implement something similar.
Yes, NCSU is an excellent place to go - thanks for this pointer; feel a bit stupid not to have thought of it, with them being literally in my backyard… they indeed have a wealth of relevant information.

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Hi @Linn, not sure if it is equally hot where you are, but we are unseasonably hot this year, and this month won’t be any better. Below is a chart i put together to establish year over year comparisons. In about 10 days I will get the monthly average for mid Aug-mid Sep, and it will be well above everything else.

Rachio use is only reflected starting July, and I think this is a great result so far. Should note that month is utility billing cycle (20th to 19th), not calendar month.

On another note, for seed and chemical treatments I am using the guys at Fairway Green as mentioned in my response above. If of interest, they have an office in Charlotte as well, and their advice and customer service so far was spot on. www.fairwaygreen.com

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I hire a lawn weed control service for my front yard bermudagrass, but I don’t trust them with my fescue. Maybe that will change since I have more sun for bermudagrass. However I do really enjoy overseeing. I look for some information on fescue in North Carolina and put the link on here. Very glad to have some Carolina folks on here. Beautiful part of the country and friendly southern people!

I found this: https://content.ces.ncsu.edu/carolina-lawns

I’m assuming like here in Phx, your summer grass will be going dormant? If so, I wouldn’t want to water down to their roots since they are going dormant. The new seed is in the first couple of inches of soil at first so no need to excessively water below that. Again, not sure what other areas of the country do, but that’s my 2 cents

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Well, our average rainfall here in central Oklahoma ranges from 35 to 50 inches, so Bermuda does not go dormant unless there are weeks of no rainfall or irrigation.

People in much of the country would do winter overseeding with perennial rye grass, but because it puts bermudagrass because of allelopathic reasons where chemicals released inhibit Bermuda. Fescue tends to blend in better with Bermuda. Read the Hort Science journal article.