Water is one of the most important elements in growing and maintaining a healthy lawn. And while watering may sound easy to do, there’s actually a bit more to it. It’s not just hosing your lawn or plants and calling it a day. Nor is it setting the sprinklers and believing that you’ll have a lush, green lawn in no time.
If what were the case, everyone would have the perfect lawn.
In this article we go into detail on how to water Your lawn properly to get the best results. It’s perfect for beginners and anyone else who wants to have a great lawn.
When to Water the Lawn?
Lawns need a lot of water. Like us, they get thirsty when there isn’t enough hydration. Watering regularly is a good way to provide the right amount of moisture to let their roots grow. This is important if you want the grass in your lawn to be green with no bald spots.
If you live in hot climate areas or states that experience droughts, it becomes more crucial to monitor your garden’s watering needs because of the heat.
Ideally, you want to make sure that grass is watered before it gets thirsty. Like use, when they get thirsty, they experience stress. And, you’ll quickly see this as their green color starts to turn yellowish or brown.
To test whether your grass is getting dry, walk over it. Your footprints should disappear fairly quickly if your lawn is healthy. The grass will has a bounce and resilience to it. If your footprints stay on, it’s time to water your lawn.
The good news is you don’t have to water your lawn every day. Once or twice a week produces excellent results.
It’s important to water deeply. That is, provide about 1 to 2 inches of water each week. The reason you need to apply so much water is that the moisture needs to soak at least 6 inches down under the soil.
You can do this using a hose or sprinkler system. The latter is more efficient because it ensures properly timing, coverage and amount. But, they also do cost more and require installation.
When is the Best Time to Water the Lawn: Morning Or Night?
So, when is the best time to water your lawn?
It’s in the morning.
… And, depending on the time of the year and where you live, it could shift about an hour or so.
But, in general, the times between 5 a.m. and 10 a.m. are the optimum times to water the grass in your lawn.
Watering early in the morning allows the plants to soak in more moisture. This is because mornings are the coolest times of the day. Thus, it gives your lawn the ability to absorb the water better. And, there’s less chance of the water being blown away by the wind or evaporate because of the heat.
Hot afternoons aren’t the best times because up to 30% of the water evaporates. The only exception to this is if your lawn is already dry and you want to supplement the watering.
Mornings also gives grass time to soak in the water throughout the day.
While evenings are also cool times, they’re not optimal for watering. The reason is the excess water tends to sit on your lawn till morning. This increases the risk of fungal diseases growing in your lawn.
How Long Do You Water Your Lawn?
Earlier, we touched a bit on watering frequency where we mentioned that it’s better to have a deep water once or twice a week than daily. The biggest reason for this is you won’t want your lawn to be constantly soggy.
While an always moist lawn isn’t nice to walk on, it’s something you can get used to. The problem with this condition is it invites diseases like fungus, pests and insects into your lawn.
This in a recipe for disaster.
So, the general goal is to get an inch of water once or twice a week. Depending on the size of your lawn, this will take anywhere from 20 to 30 minutes for most homeowners. That amounts to around half an inch to an inch of water in your lawn each watering session.
How Much Do You Water Your Lawn?
How long you water your lawn is related to how much water your lawn needs. In this section, we’ll look at how you can estimate how much to water your lawn.
After a few times, you’ll have a good idea of how long to water your lawn independent of the size of your lawn.
Here’s a cool trick to measure the amount of water your lawn gets each time.
- Save a few used cans of tuna or salmon. Any type of can works. But, we like tuna or sardine cans because they’re not too high. It’s harder to use cans of soup or corn kernels for this because of their height.
- Space out the cans around each section of your garden. The goal is to mark each area of your lawn, so you know that area has gotten enough water.
- The more cans you have the more precise you can get. This lets you place 2 to 3 cans per area. Just make sure to space them apart.
- Start watering your lawn.
- In the beginning, try to time how long it takes to water each area of your lawn. The cans will be your markers.
- Every now and then, check the tuna cans to see how much water they’ve gotten. Your target is between half an inch to an inch filled, depending on how many times a week you plan on watering your lawn.
- When the cans get to your target (0.5 to 1 inch filled with water), it’s time to water the next area of your lawn till the cans there get an inch of water in them.
This is a quick and easy DIY way of measuring how much your water your lawn.
How Often Should You Water Your Lawn?
As mentioned earlier, infrequent, deep watering is better than frequent light sprinkling. In addition to getting a soaked lawn and the risk of disease growth there’s another reason that deep, infrequent watering is better.
Always watering the grass little by little makes your lawn’s root system shallow. It gets used to little moisture every day. So, the roots adjust over time. They know that water isn’t going deep, because there’s very little of it.
This benefits shallower roots and discourages then from growing deep into the soil.
When this happens, you have a weak foundation. This makes it easy for the grass to be pulled out from the soil because they’re not deeply rooted.
In contrast, infrequent deep watering encourages roots to go deep and entrench themselves into the soil. They know they’ll get proper moisture even below.
This type of root structure makes then sturdy and resilient. So, when rains, snow or strong winds come, they won’t get affected.