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How Long Should I Water My Lawn For

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Proper Watering Is Key To A Successful Overseeding Lawn

How Long Should I Water My Lawn?

Fall is the optimal time to reseed a lawn. The cooler temperatures and break from the summer drought create ideal conditions for success. Even with ideal conditions, proper watering is critical to successful overseeding. The following is a recommended watering regimen.

Water heavily immediately after overseeding. This will jump start the seed germination and help bring the seed into better contact with the soil.

For the first 10-14 days , water lightly daily being sure to soak the first inch of soil.

Back off to fewer waterings once the grass seed has germinated but be sure to water deeper into the soil. This will encourage deeper root growth.

Always water in the morning. This will allow the grass blades to dry completely, preventing disease issues.

Patience is key. Proper watering will result in better seed germination and a healthier lawn.

Top Recommendations To Water Your Lawn Like A Pro

Apply 1 inch of water, once per week, early in the morning

Avoid watering in the afternoon because a large percentage of the water is lost to evaporation. You should also avoid evening watering because the lawn will remain wet for 12 to 15 hours, until the following morning sun dries off the lawn. This prolonged wet period can increase fungal disease incidence.

Increase watering frequency during hot periods

To maintain a lush lawn during the hot periods of the summer more frequent applications are required. Generally one application of water every 4 to 5 days is adequate. Sandy soils may require an application of water every 3 to 4 days.

Allow the surface to dry out between watering

It’s important to know that you can overwater your lawn. By allowing the surface to dry out, any disease fungi will die back, and any newly germinated weed seeds will die off. This also encourages the grass plants to grow roots deeper into the soil, making your lawn more drought tolerant. By allowing the surface of the lawn to dry out between waterings, insect eggs like those of the Leather Jacket will die off.

Or, wait for the lawn to tell you it needs water

Prior to dormancy , foot printing and premature wilt can occur. If you notice either of these symptoms, this is a sign that your lawn needs water immediately in order to avoid drought dormancy .

Raise your mower height

Measure the water with a cup

Watering on a slope

Watering near trees

How Much Water Does A Lawn Need

You might be surprised to know that your lawn doesnt need that much water to thrive and look its best.

The amount of water a lawn needs is dependant on several factors including

  • The type of soil your grass grows in
  • The species of grass your lawn is made up of
  • How much sun or shade the lawn sits in

That said, as a good rule of thumb, an inch of water per week either from rain or irrigation is all a lawn needs to stay healthy and look good. This will soak into to top 6 inches of soil where most of the grasses roots grow.

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When Should You Not Water Your Lawn

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    How To Tell When Its Time To Water Your Lawn

    When should i water my lawn and for how long

    A lawn that has dried out and needs watering will often fall dormant and turn a duller shade of green or even brown. Before reaching the dormancy stage, some types of grass will even begin to wilt or bow when they are in need of watering.

    A screwdriver or a hand spade are also good tools for assessing the moisture in your lawn.

    If it is difficult to get your tool into the ground, then it is very likely too dry. Do this test intermittently while watering to ensure that it has reached deep into the soil. Its best to saturate the soil with moisture to a depth of 6 to 8 inches when watering.

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    The Biggest Mistake People Make When Watering Their Lawns

    As I said at the beginning of this article, watering the lawn is very simple in theory and easy in practice. Yet, people still do it wrong.

    The single biggest mistake I see lawn owners make every summer is that they water their lawns for 15-20 minutes every evening.

    If you do this youre wasting both your time and your money. You could also create problems for yourself.

    Heres why

    Watering your lawn lightly only results in wet grass when the aim should be to get the moisture into the soil .

    A 15-minute sprinkling of water isnt enough to get the water where it needs to be.

    In most cases, the water will sit on the grass overnight and then be evaporated by the sun the day after. This means it has ZERO effect on the health of your grass.

    In other cases, this surface moisture can provide the perfect environment for fungal diseases like Pink Patch and Snow Mould to incubate, spore and spread.

    So not only is watering lightly in an evening pointless, but it can actually ruin your lawn.

    What Are The Benefits Of Proper Lawn Watering

    • Encourages deeper root growth, making grass more resilient against damage from pests, disease, and drought
    • Supports a thick lawn that crowds weeds out by making it difficult for them to germinate
    • Promotes efficient water use by reducing the amount of water lost through evaporation, and watering at times or in areas it is not needed

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    Why Fall Watering Is Important

    If your type of grass is a cool-season grass, then fall is an important growth period for your lawn. Grass does keep growing for a good part of the fall, even if you don’t see as much growth on top. Instead, much of the growth occurs underground in the root system. This is crucial to build a solid foundation for your lawn and to help it repair any damage that occurred over the summertime.

    Don’t deprive it of irrigation during this critical time. An adequate water supply for grass roots is essential for proper nutrient uptake during growth periods. If your lawn isn’t sufficiently absorbing nutrients, it won’t achieve optimal health and might not survive a harsh winter.

    Watering Your Lawn Automatically

    How long should you water your lawn? | How much water does your grass need?

    There are many different ways to efficiently and automatically water your lawn. There are a few factors you should take into account. Ask yourself the following questions: How much water will I need? How large an area do I need to cover? What shape is my lawn? Is there anything nearby that cant get wet?

    Here are a few popular types of sprinklers to consider:

    • In-ground sprinklers These systems can be expensive, but are highly efficient. The sprinkler heads pop up automatically to water, and pop right back down when the watering is done, delivering a precise amount of water.
    • Pulsating sprinklers This type shoots out water horizontally in a powerful stream, covering a large area easily. Grassroots get the level of moisture they need quickly. However, the pulsing might be too intense for newly seeded or sodded lawns.
    • Oscillating sprinklers These are a good alternative for newly seeded lawns, since the force of the water is weaker, and you still get good coverage.
    • Hose-end sprinklers These traditional sprinklers are the most common and come in many different types.

    Make sure your automatic sprinkler is doing its job, when it needs to do its job. If the forecast calls for a lot of rain, adjust the settings accordingly. Also, make sure it isnt pointed at the streetyou dont want to soak any passersby.

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    Should You Water Your Lawn Before Or After Fertilization

    Fertilizer is helpful to your grass, but care must be taken with watering. You will want to water your lawn a few days before you place down fertilizer, and lightly water your grass once it is dry again. Watering your grass before introducing fertilizer opens up the soil, and the second watering helps set the fertilizer. Avoid using fertilizer on your lawn when there are heavy water restrictions or hot, dry weather since fertilizer needs significant water.

    How Do I Know If My Grass Has Enough Water

    There are a few ways you can tell if youve given your lawn enough to drink:

    • Check the soil every 15 minutes during your first watering to see how long it takes to get soaked. Use a shovel or screwdriver to get a measurement, and when youve determined the water has gone six inches deep, note the time. Thats how long it should take in the future.
    • If you have a sprinkler system, find out its flow rate from the manufacturer. Multiply the square footage of your lawn by 0.62 gallons then divide that figure by the flow rate. The result will tell you how many minutes to run your sprinkler.
    • Place empty tuna cans around the lawn and measure how long it takes for the sprinkler to fill each can with an inch of water. The sprinkler coverage will vary, so use the average time it takes to fill the cans.

    If youre not sure of the best way to water your lawn, turn to Realty Landscaping. Our PA landscape construction experts have spent years helping homeowners and business owners around the Philadelphia area keep their lawns looking green.

    Contact us today to learn more about how we can give you a healthy lawn this summer.

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    How To Tell If Your Lawn Has Been Watered Enough

    There are some simple tricks that will determine if a lawn is receiving enough water. First, does it look healthy? If it looks healthy, then it probably is which means stick to what you are doing. Another way to determine if your lawn needs to be watered is to submerge a screwdriver into the grass. If it easily sinks 6 to 7 inches, then your lawn is receiving an adequate amount of water each week. If not, it is probably time to make a change to your watering routine.

    Be ready for changing weather and be aware of when a lawn needs more feeding and fertilizing. Give lawns an organic fertilizer and compost in fall and spring and cut back on watering when dry days turn to rainy ones.

    If you see mushrooms growing in your grass, it is most likely due to overwatering. The best next step is to decrease the amount of watering until the mushrooms are gone.

    How Much Water Does My Lawn Need

    How Long Should I Water My Lawn

    Many homeowners arent exactly sure how much water is necessary to keep plants thriving during the summer. Heres the short, frustrating answer: it depends.

    What factors dictate your summer water requirements?

    A few variables are your soil type, grass type and how much shade your lawn gets.

    Generally speaking, lawns with more shade or clay soil dont need as much water. However, if your soil is porous and sandy, your lawn will probably need more water.

    You can determine what kind of soil you have in your lawn by doing a test. There are a number of ways to do this, but Texas A& M will test your soil for no charge if you send in a sample.

    Want a ballpark figure, just to get an idea? Most lawns need somewhere between three-quarters to one and a half inches each week to stay green and healthy.

    Now, an even more important question: what does that mean in terms of how long and how often you should water?

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    Considering The Role Of Salt In Soil And Water

    In areas of the state where water is high in salts, plant a salt-tolerant grass species, such as Seashore Paspalum, bermudagrass, or Zoysia. Water deeply but only occasionally so salt does not accumulate in the soil. High levels of sodium damage soil quality and affect the ability of water to filter through the soil. Also, salt can exacerbate the effect of drought on turfgrass. Contact your county Extension agent for more information.

    How Much Water To Use

    When watering an established lawn, its typically recommended to water until the top 6 to 8 inches of soil is wet. Most lawns need 1 to 1.5 inches of water per weekeither from rain or wateringto soak the soil that deeply. That amount of water can either be applied during a single watering or divided into two waterings during the week. Just be sure not to overwater your lawn.

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    Skip These Watering Tricks

    Using sprinklers in the blazing hot sun. Hello? Using sprinklers when it’s sunny and 95 degrees is dumber than swimming with polar bears. Practically all the water applied will evaporate into the hot air before ever reaching the roots. You might as well water the storm drain.

    Using sprinklers when it’s raining. Most people guilty of this use in-ground sprinklers set by a timer. Having to eat boiled yak every day for a year is not too harsh a punishment.

    Using sprinklers to water the street. Again, in-ground sprinklers are the culprit. People set them to go off in the middle of the night and never see where the sprinklers are pointed. As I’ve said before, you can water asphalt all you want, but that stuff just ain’t gonna grow.

    Giving your flowers, shrubs, and trees the same amount of water that you give your grass. Different plants have different water requirements. Treating them all the same means one will be happy and the others will hate you. Who practices such idiocy more often than anybody else? Owners of in-ground sprinkler systems.

    How Water Feeds Your Lawn


    Knowing how much water your lawn needs is critical to maintaining a great looking property. Some key factors will impact how long and when you want to water your grass. Relax, once you understand how important it is to consider the following, you will become an expert on watering your lawn in no time.

    • Lawns need more water during hot seasons or in drier climates.
    • The time of day that you water your grass is critical, as morning waterings are ideal.
    • Know your grass mature lawns require different watering than newly established lawns.
    • You can work with any water restrictions to ensure your lawn gets the attention it deserves.

    Let your inner lawn-whisperer come through. Your grass will let you know how it is responding to your watering schedule, and whether the roots are getting adequate moisture or are parched from thirst. Ideally, in most regions, you will want to water your lawn before 10 am. If you have to commit to watering your lawn later in the day, opt between the hours of 4 and 6 pm. Dont forget to include how much rainfall is naturally interacting with your yard to prevent overwatering. Most lawns will need an average of 1 to 1.5 inches of water each week.

    Know how much a new lawn would cost you.

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    No Need To Wet Your Plants

    At the end of the day, under-watering your lawn is actually less harmful than over-watering. Most grass types are quite resilient to under-watering.

    Your grass will certainly let you know when it needs watering if its been too long.

    The results from watering when your grass has turned dull green or even brown are quite quick, versus the length of time it can take to fully treat rot or disease in an over-watered lawn.

    How Long To Water New Grass Seed

    How long to water new grass seed depends on your soil conditions and your sprinkler setup. In general, ten minutes of watering per session will provide enough water to keep the top couple inches of soil moist.

    As your new grass seed grows and flourishes, you can water deeper and less frequently this will encourage established grass roots to extend deeply into the soil. When watering grass seedlings, gradually increase your morning watering sessions over time, while decreasing your evening watering. Eventually, youll want to water between 6 and 10 am, while the weather is still cool. An established lawn typically requires about 1 inch of water per week, including rainfall.

    Use the chart below to help you plan out your ideal watering schedule:

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    How Long To Water The Lawn With An Oscillating Sprinkler

    Younger lawns that have yet to establish deep, mature root systems are best watered with an oscillating sprinkler. Before you run your sprinkler, you need to know how long it takes for your lawn to receive half-an-inch to one-inch of water. Depending on your lawns surface area and layout, run your oscillating sprinkler from 30 minutes to an hour to reach the proper soil depth.

    When To Turn The Sprinklers On

    How Often &  How Long Should I Water My Lawn With Sprinkler ...

    Reasons for watering your lawn include:

    To Aid Recovery After Invasive Treatments

    If you have

    The lawn will need water in order for the new grass seed to germinate, aid with root establishment and turfs to knit together.

    Watering is the most important task when it comes to establishing a new lawn. Its the only time you should water several times a week.

    In Hot, Dry Weather

    Depending on the type of soil your lawn grows in, the species of grass you have, exposure to sun or how much shade the lawn is covered by will all have an impact on when youll need to water.

    For example, lawns with deep rooting fescues are more drought-resistant than shallower rooting ryegrasses.

    During hot, dry spells, some lawns can look good for several weeks, others might need watering weekly.

    So, look out for signs that your lawn needs water. These include

    • The grass losing its green colour and starting to turn yellow
    • It loses its springiness and your footprints stay in the lawn after youve walked on it instead of springing back up
    • The soil starts to shrink and crack

    To Avoid Fungal Diseases Like Dry Patch

    Sometimes soil can become very hard to re-wet after it dries out. Fungal diseases like Dry Patch occur during dry spells and coat the soil particles in a water-repellent layer.

    Other Reasons

    As I said, there are many reasons for watering a lawn, not just the ones listed above.

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