How Do I Know When My Lawn Is Sufficiently Watered
The most important area of the soil and one that must remain wet at all times is the first 3 inches. This is the area where the grass plants roots grow. It is difficult to calculate how much watering is required to maintain a sufficient level of water in this area, so visually checking is the best way. You can dig a small hole and check how far down the soil is wet.
In most cases, following our watering guide above will give your lawn a sufficient amount of water, assuming you water at night and that the surface of your lawn has no more than an average amount of thatch.
What Time Of The Day Should I Water The Lawn In The Spring
The best time to water your lawn in the Spring is in the morning just before the scorching sun rises to its peak. Some folks suggest otherwise. They wait for the sun to be hottest before they water the lawn.
The problem with this idea is that the water may not sink deep into the soil before the heat makes it evaporate. As such, its expedient to water your lawn before 10 am. By this time, the dew is still on the ground with a reasonable amount of moisture.
The evening would have also been a good idea too. But the blades of grass need sunlight to dry up, which the night doesnt have. Wet and dark conditions are a major cause of lawn disease, and this makes the evening a turn off.
See this post for more pros and cons to watering your lawn at night.
When To Water The Lawn
If you find your lawn has taken on a grayish cast or appears to be dull green, its telling you that it needs water. You can also check your lawn by walking on it: If your footprints dont disappear quickly, its because the grass blades dont have the needed moisture to spring back. While it may seem like you can head out to water your lawn anytime during the day, your lawn actually needs more specific care. Watering in the morning is the best time for your lawn its cooler and winds tend to be calmer so water can soak into the soil and be absorbed by the grass roots before it can evaporate. If you must water in the evening, try between 4 and 6 p.m. which should give the grass blades time to dry before nightfall. The later you water, the greater chance of disease becoming prevalent in your lawn. Its worth noting, though, that you dont necessarily have to water your lawn. Lawns are resilient. Established and properly cared-for lawns can survive weeks without water by going dormant , then recover once the rain returns.
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Water Requirements For Lawns
As a general rule, lawn grass needs about one inch of water per week. This figure may change, though, depending on your soil type. Proper drainage in goes in hand-in-hand with meeting the water requirement of a lawn. To achieve proper drainage, a balance must be struck:
- If the composition of your soil is too sandy, water will run right through it as if it were a sieve. So giving your lawn one inch of water per week if it is growing in this kind of soil will not keep it adequately irrigated.
- But if your soil type has too much clay, it will retain too much water. Grassroots do not like to sit in water constantly. Diseases can result from this condition.
A loamy soil strikes the ideal balance for achieving proper drainage. It has sufficient organic matter for the right amount of water retention, and will not lead to waterlogged conditions.
When Watering A Warm
- Zoysia, St. Augustine, bermuda and centipede grasses develop deep root systems, making them better able to withstand drought.
- In general, warm-season grass types require less water than cool-season grasses. Where you live determines how frequently you need to water because of differences in rainfall and summer weather conditions. Grass requires the most water in conditions of heat, drought, low humidity, and high winds.The type of soil you have also plays a part: Clay soil holds water longer and can be watered less frequently than sandy soil, which drains very quickly .
There are tons of ways to water your lawn, from sprinklers to smart watering solutions. Each has their own sets of benefits, so choose the solution that works best for you and your lawn. Below are a few methods to consider.
Pulsating sprinklers : These shoot water horizontally at a high velocity so the water isnt affected by wind.
Hose-end sprinklers: Great for small- to medium-size lawns. There are many different types, so you can choose the one that fits your lawn best.
In-ground sprinklers: These can deliver water in the most efficient pattern. Choose sprinklers that are low to the ground and use a horizontal spray pattern for best results.
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Misconception #: The Worst Thing I Can Do Is Under
We hear a lot of concerns about under-watering, but the truth is that overwatering can be just as badmaybe even worse. When soil becomes oversaturated, it can become waterlogged and you can actually drown your grass roots. An overwatered lawn is also more prone to lawn diseases.
Lawns need approximately 1 to 2 inches of water each week in order to stay healthy and green. The best way for lawns to receive that water is through a slow and soaking rain . Just be careful not to assume a downpour has given you ample water. Stick a finger down into the first few inches of soil and get a sense of how moist it is.
We also recommend putting a rain gauge outdoors to measure rainfall. When you do need to water, place a shallow can halfway between your sprinkler head and its furthest point of spray. This will help you tell how much water your lawn is receiving during your supplemental watering sessions. You dont need to be watering your lawn every day, but instead just need to ensure that its getting its weekly 1 to 2 inches of water with about 2-3 waterings per week.
What Happens If Grass Doesnt Get Enough Water
When water is in short supply, grass is less able to consume nutrients from the soil.
As a result, it is unable to photosynthesise and produce food. So it has to rely on food and water stores to survive.
Often times youll see the grass start to lose colour. This happens as the grass draws water, nutrients and food stores from the leaf back into the roots. One of these nutrients is Chlorophyl, which gives grass its green colour.
During drought conditions, like the one the UK suffered from in summer 2018, youll see the lawn turn completely brown as the grass goes completely dormant. To avoid this, you can water your lawn as part of your summer lawn care regimen.
This is a survival mechanism and in most cases is nothing to worry about. The grass will start to grow and become green again when the rains return. However, in the worst cases, the grass could die, in which case, you might need to repair your lawn when the weather is more favourable.
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What Happens If I Dont Water My Lawn In The Spring
Your grass will probably not die if you dont water it in the Spring.
Are you surprised? Its because it goes into dormancy in times of stress- kind of like a bear that hibernates through the winter.
As long as you are taking care of your lawn, youve got to choose one of these options.
#1. The first is to water the lawn weekly, as we pointed out in this article. If you choose this option, then youve got to do it religiously to maintain the bright green color of your lawn.
#2. The second option is not to water it at all, just as it was in winter. Your lawn will certainly look pale. Its color will wane, and its not always the best of sight but it will come back when growing conditions naturally improve.
You can pretty much rest assured that it will come back again once the next rainfalls. Like magic, the seemingly dead grass will spring back to life, and a new cycle will begin. However, your flowers wont survive without water so make sure to keep that up.
How Often Should I Water My Lawn With A Sprinkler System
The average lawn needs a minimum of 1-inch of water per week to thrive. You can choose to water your grass lightly 10 to 15 minutes a day or do an intense weekly watering for an hour or longer until the soil and roots absorb enough water. Many lawn owners opt to water their lawn three times a week for about 20 to 30 minutes.
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What Is The Best Method Of Watering My Lawn
The aim of watering a lawn is to ensure water penetrates the surface of the soil, down into the root zone. Applying too much water in one go can cause puddling, and may reduce the amount of water that eventually reaches through the soil. To maximise the amount of water that reaches through the soil level, it is best to water using the following method:
1. Water an area for 20 to 30 minutes.
2. After 20 to 30 minutes, stop watering and allow the water to soak into the soil.
3. After another 20 to 30 minutes, start watering the same area again, and water for another 20 to 30 minutes.
Lawns that have an excessive amount of thatch or the soil is excessively compact throughout or in localised areas will require a longer amount of watering as the thatch layer will act like a sponge, absorbing a lot of the water, and it will take longer for the water to penetrate compacted soil.
Water Deeply But Not Too Often
- Too much watering can lead to poor growing conditions and disease problems.
- Water only when your lawn needs it, usually no more than once a week when there is no rainfall.
- Apply at least 2.5 cm of water. Put a tuna or pet food can on your lawn to measure how much you’ve watered. Stop watering when it’s full.
- Consider the soil type and surface features. Grass growing on compacted, fine soil or on slopes needs lighter, more frequent watering.
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Watering Lawns In Spring & Rainy Seasons
Rainy areas or rainy seasons like springtime are a great opportunity for planting new grass or sod. All of the moisture available is great for new lawns.
During this time of year it is easier to establish your lawn following the dormant period, stimulate root growth, and fill in any bald patches without having to be a slave to a watering schedule thanks to Mother Nature.
How Often To Water Your Lawn
Watering grass daily will result in a shallow root system. And shallow root systems dry out fast, weakening lawns. Infrequent, deep watering encourages grass roots to run deep, developing strong systems below-ground. This allows lawns to be more resilient to changing weather while becoming hardier and disease resistant.
The average lawn needs to be watered three times per week during warm months, providing a total of about one inch of water over the course of the week. Lawns can be watered as little as one to two times per week to achieve the same goal in cooler seasons, when there is naturally less evaporation and a higher chance of rainfall.
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Install Drip Lines And Rain Gauge
To ensure your entire yard is getting enough water, install drip irrigation lines for trees, shrubs and gardens, and install a rain gauge.
Drip irrigation is a great way to ensure smaller plants still receive deep watering without the risk of being overwatered by a sprinkler.
Likewise, a rain gauge will tell how much water the yard is receiving from rain and may even help you save on your water bill!
Remember to apply IFA 4-Step Fertilizer to give your grass the nutrients it needs and to mow regularly enough to keep grass blades at roughly three inches in length. As always, stop by your local IFA Country Store for more tips on how to grow a healthy lawn or to get help dealing with a troublesome lawn issue.
What To Do When Your Lawn Is In The Shade Or Sun
Every lawn is different, and your grass will respond to your layout, grass type, and climate. Most grass should be watered in the morning before 10 am, whether it is in the shade or the sun. If you are worried about keeping a watering schedule, consider getting a water timer. Grass that is in shady areas should not be overwatered or left soggy at night because of the increased risk of disease. Sunny areas are more likely to lose more water to evaporation and may need more frequent watering.
Overall, remember that grass growing in the shade and the sun both need enough time to lose any excess moisture. You want the root systems of your turf to get adequate moisture, but not end up drowning in water because of negligence or overcompensation. When in doubt, choose to water your lawn at varying intervals within the week and allow enough moisture to penetrate the roots. Check on grass that is shaded by trees or shrubbery, and dont overlook a lawn that is constantly in full sun to ensure balance.
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Watering Your Lawn Automatically
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.
Is There Anything Else I Can Do To Help Maximise The Amount Of Water That Is Retained In The Soil
Yes. You can spike your lawn. Spiking is the process of creating small holes in your lawn. This can be done using a rolling spiker, or even just a garden fork. It is easier and better for the grass plants if you do this when the soil is wet.
By creating small holes in your lawn, you are giving water space to hide from the sun and helping to reduce the amount that is evaporated. It also allows the soil around the holes to slowly soak the water in. If your lawn has thatch, spiking will not only help water reach the soil layer, but will also help to reduce the level of thatch by improving the airflow around the thatchlayer.
When spiking your lawn, you should prioritise the areas of local compaction.
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What If The Lawn Color Changes
Next, if your lawns color starts to fade or even turns to another shade, give your lawn a watering. If you notice a certain area in the lawn is starting to show some dry spots, or any of the above mentioned symptoms, check your sprinklers rotation and make sure that water is reaching every part of your lawn.
A handy tool in knowing how much you should water your yard is arain gauge . It can tell you if Mother Nature has done some of your work for you or if you still need to add additional watering time. People tend to have many different theories concerning the best time to water the lawn. The morning hours are the best time to water. You will often find less wind at this time of day, which will keep you from watering the neighbors yard or even the street. The morning also allows your lawn drying time before dusk sets in. Entering into night time with a soggy lawn is a big mistake. This is an open invitation for diseases to invade your lawn.
Misconception #: Watering My Lawn By Hand Is The Best Method
Watering your lawn by hand can be deceiving. It seems like youre getting ample water everywhere but you may actually be causing it to pool in certain areas or even run off. Oftentimes a lawn that is watered solely by hand is not receiving as much as you think.
The best method to water your lawn is to use sprinklers that mimic slow, soaking rain. Hand watering works fine for very small patches of grass where youve planted new grass seed or for container plants but when it comes to your lawn as a whole, stick to sprinklers for the best results.
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