Lawn Watering: Tips, Best Times, Requirements
Watering the lawn properly is important to keep it lush and healthy. A lawn that is watered deeply can survive 5 to 8 days till the next cycle. Established lawns that consist of deep and extensive root systems can be watered less frequently. If soil is less than 5 inches deep then watering needs to be more frequent. Watering early in the morning is the best time to do it.
Most homeowners overwater their lawns. This can harm lawn plants and is more harmful than under-watering. Homeowners can conserve water by learning to water their lawns properly. To create a watering plan for your lawn, take note of the soil type, management practices, grass variety, and environmental conditions.
How to Water the Lawn?
When watering your lawn, it’s advised to water until the top 6 to 8 inches of soil becomes wet. On an average a lawn requires 1 to 1.5 inches of water from rain or watering per week to immerse the soil that deeply. This amount of water can be given in a single watering or divided into two during the week. Make sure not to overwater your lawn.
There are many methods to water your lawn. Tools such as pulsating sprinklers, hose-end sprinklers, in-ground sprinklers and smart watering systems are available. Choose the best one for you and your lawn.
Steps to check if your lawn is watered properly with different methods:
Check the Soil: You need to check the soil every 15 minutes during your first watering session. Use a screwdriver to check how deeply the soil is soaked. Mark the time once it has been soaked till 6 inches, that’s the time you will need to water your lawn each time in future.
Sprinkler system: The correct watering rate is the easiest way to check if you have a sprinkler system. The flow rate is provided by the manufacturer so you just need to do a calculation. Multiply the sq.ft. of your lawn by 0.62 gallon(equal to 1 inch of water per sq.ft.), then divide by the sprinkler flow rate. The result will tell you how much to run your sprinkler system.
- Measure with cans: Keep empty and clean tuna cans around the lawn at different spots and observe how long it takes to gather 1 to 1.5 inches of water in each. Take the average time it takes to fill all the cans as the sprinkler coverage patterns may vary all over the lawn.
- Flow timer or water timer: You can also use a flow timer that measures water flow in hundreds of gallons. Multiply your lawn’s area in sq.ft. by 0.62 gallons to get the total no. of gallons required for the total lawn.
When is the Best Time to Water the Lawn?
The best time to water your grass is early in the mornings, before 10:00 a.m. if possible. Hot, sunny afternoons are not ideal as the water may evaporate before the grass can absorb what it needs.
In winters the proper time to water your lawn is around 3 am, before sunrise and after the dew has formed. You should finish watering it no later than 9:00 am.
Always do a spring checkup of the entire sprinkler system for any damaged pipes or irrigation heads during the winter months. If you are unfamiliar with your sprinkler system and how to prepare it for spring please consult with a professional.
In summer, watering your lawn early in the morning is vital to keep your lawn hydrated. The best time to water is 6:00 am to 10:00 am as it allows the grass and soil to absorb water.
What Tools do You Require to Water the Lawn?
There are various tools available that you can use to water your lawn. Choose the best watering tools according to you and your lawn’s requirements. Two of them are discussed below.
- Garden Hose: A flexible pipe that is used to carry water to the garden or lawn.
- Sprinkler System: A system of underground tubes attached to sprinkler heads on the surface that is used to water lawns and gardens.
What to Care When Watering Different Types of Lawns
How long to water different types of lawns and what to care for will depend on various factors, including the season, the zone where you live and most importantly the type of grass you grow. Watering and care needs will vary depending on the type of lawn.
- Warm-season grasses: Warm-season grasses, for example zoysia and bermuda grass grow best when the air temperature is above 80 degrees. The growth slows down when daytime temperatures start to decrease, but they will still need moisture to be healthy. You can continue to water them till the grass is growing and requires regular mowing.
- Cool-season grasses: Cool-season grasses, for instance, fescue and rye actively grow in the fall, recovering from summer inaction. Cool fall temperatures are responsible for low evaporation rate, but these grasses still require 1.5 inch of water every week until the frost ends the growing season.
What is the Importance of Watering Lawn?
The benefits of watering your lawn are many if you do it properly and regularly. It will help keep your lawn looking lush, lively and disease-free. A few minutes is just enough to wet the upper layer of soil. If you water deeply, then the roots of the turf will grow deeper and be able to absorb that water.
A well-watered lawn looks fresh and its color remains green as compared to the gray-blue color of dry grass. When soil receives the correct amount of water, creatures like earthworms flourish, making the soil enriched.
Is Watering Lawn at Night Good?
No, watering at night can lead to problems with diseases in your lawn. A wet lawn at night provides the perfect condition for fungus to grow. If you have cut the grass too short, watering your lawn at night is the worst thing you can do.
Watering the lawn at night will keep the lawn wet throughout the night, causing fungal and bacterial diseases that can harm your plants in the lawn.
How often should You Water Your Grass?
Most lawns require 1 to 1.5 inches of water per week to wet the soil that deeply. This amount of water can be provided in a single day or divided into two waterings during the week. Be sure no to overwater your lawn. Daily watering is bad for your lawn as it replaces air in the soil, kills useful organisms in the soil and leads to the development of a shallow root system.
How Much Water Should You Use?
As said earlier, most lawns need about 1 to 1.5 inches of water per week, but this amount can vary depending on which region of the country you live, wind speed, evaporation rate, and what type of grass you are growing.
Cool-season grasses go dormant during the summer and during this time these lawns need to be watered only once every three weeks. Warm-season grasses go dormant during water and they also need to be watered only once every three weeks during this time.
How Long to Water Grass with Sprinkler?
For the average lawn, 30 minutes twice per week is an ideal watering schedule with a sprinkler and a good starting point for creating your own custom schedule. To make sure you’ve watered enough, check the soil every 15 minutes or so and stop once the ground has been moistened to a depth of six inches.
Although sprinkler systems make it easy to water daily, most lawns will not require this much water. Rather than short, light watering, create a schedule for less-frequent, deep watering sessions. Knowing how long to leave the sprinkler on depends on the flow pattern or rate of your system, wind speed, and evaporation rates.
We hope this article has help you understand the importance and details of watering your lawn. To summarize, to keep your lawn healthy you should make a watering schedule mainly depending on the type of grass lawn, weather conditions, tools used and the quantity required.
Lawn care is all in the details, and we take care of every single one to give you the lawn of your dreams. Contact us today!