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.
How Many Times A Week To Water
The frequency of weekly watering depends on your grass species, total water requirements for the week, and how long your soil will absorb water before running off into the gutter.
Warm-season grasses have extensive root systems that penetrate deep into the soil and require deep and infrequent watering. Water as few times a week as necessary to fulfill your weekly water requirements without causing excessive runoff. Usually 1 or 2 times a week is sufficient.
If you want to determine the maximum amount of time your sprinklers can be left on at one time, observe a cycle from the beginning to the time when runoff begins. That is the maximum amount of time that you let your sprinklers run in any given watering. Space out the applications evenly during the week.
Cool-season grasses require more frequent watering than warm-season grasses because their root systems are not as extensive. Divide the required weekly minutes into about 3 equal irrigations, evenly spaced throughout the week. Fewer applications may be sufficient during cooler months. Desert areas, slopes or areas with shallow soils also need shorter, more frequent irrigations than warm-season grasses.
When To Turn The Sprinklers Off
There are also times when you shouldnt water the lawn
During a Hosepipe Ban
During prolonged periods of hot, dry weather, water companies can introduce hosepipe bans.
During these times the water companies have the power issue fines of up to £1,000 if people are caught ignoring a hosepipe ban.
The good news that hosepipe bans arent issued very often.
The last hosepipe ban was in 2018 and that was only in certain parts of the country. The time before that it was 2012.
To Save Money
Watering the lawn is a choice, not a necessity.
When water gets to critical levels your grass will go into a state of dormancy, turning brown as it draws its water and food supplies back into the roots.
When the rain comes, the grass will quickly spring back to life, start to grow and recover.
So, if you dont want to spend the money watering your lawn, dont.
To Avoid the Onset Of Disease, Weeds and Moss
It can also cause moss to spore and weeds to grow.
Its better to not water at all than to water incorrectly!
You May Like: Smallest Riding Mower
When To Water Your Lawn
As youve probably heard, watering early is the way to go. Cutler recommends the window between 5 a.m and 10 a.m., and for a couple of reasons. Not only do you want to beat the heat of day, when too much H2O gets lost to evaporation, you also want to get the job done before the wind kicks up and messes with your sprinkler patterns, making it tough to water evenly. Breezy conditions = inefficiency.
Golf courses sometimes water in the dead of night, but thats out of necessity, Cutler says , and he doesnt recommend it. When you water after dark, you open the door to fungus and mildew, which creep in when moisture sits for too long on the grass.
When you water after dark, you open the door to fungus and mildew
The perils of these problems are especially pronounced right after mowing, when turf is in a bruised and vulnerable state . So, when you cut your turf, allow it time to recover before you water . And, of course, if you mowed that afternoon, its an especially bad idea to water that night.
How Long Should Bermuda Grass Be Watered
You can choose to water your lawn daily for 15 minutes or encourage hardier grass and root systems by committing to an infrequent watering schedule. Bermuda grass will be just fine in a Southern region that receives plenty of sunlight. Make sure your Bermuda grass receives anywhere from 1 to 3 hours of watering until the water reaches the soil 1-inch in depth.
Read Also: How Much Does Trugreen Cost Per Year
Consider Your Soil Type
If youre watering your lawn every three days for 30 minutes at a time and still not seeing results, the lawns soil may be to blame.
Lawns with coarse, sandy soil have large air spaces that let water pass quickly and should be watered more frequently for shorter durations. Heavier clay soils have smaller spaces that absorb and hold water longer and need less frequent deep watering.
To help support troubled turf, apply IFA Humate twice a year. The organic materials in this soil-activating treatment significantly increase the water-retention capacity of both sandy and clay soil, while also improving fertilizer efficiency.
What Time Of Day Should I Water
The best time to water your lawn after the sun is up but before 10 a.m. Its cooler at this time of day and winds are calmer, allowing the grassroots to absorb water before it evaporates.
We realize that not everyone is home in the morning to water. You can remedy this by consulting with your local PA landscape construction company, or just water when you get home from work.
If you have to water in the evening, aim for between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m., which during the summer will allow the grass to dry before dark. The later you water, the greater the risk of disease.
Don’t Miss: Weedeater Brand Lawn Mowers
How Much Water Is Needed
As mentioned before, most lawns require 2-3 cm of water per week to soak the soil deeply. If you go over this amount slightly, don’t worry. Just make sure you don’t flood your lawn. Certain factors can influence the amount of water required, such as the type of soil. Clay soil retains much more water than sandy soil, and a lawn established on sandy soil is irrigated less but more often. Another factor is the climate. Naturally, more watering is required if you live in an area characterized by hot, dry air.
How Much To Water
Thoroughly wet the soil to a depth of 6 inches with each watering. Shallow watering produces weak, shallow-rooted grass that is more susceptible to drought stress.
Soil type, sprinkler style and water pressure determine how much water is needed to wet the soil to a depth of 6 inches and how long a sprinkler must run. Use the following steps to determine how long to run your sprinkler or irrigation system.
- Set five to six open-top cans randomly on the lawn .
- Turn the sprinkler head or system on for 30 minutes.
- Measure and record the depth of water caught in each individual can.
- Calculate the average depth of water from all of the cans. For example, you have used five cans in your yard. The amount of water found in the cans was as follows: 0.5 inch, 0.4 inch,0.6 inch, 0.4 inch, and 0.6 inch. Add the depths together and then divide by the number of cans you used
- 1.5inch + 0.4 inch + 0.6 inch + 0.4 inch + 1.6 inch = 2.5 inches, 5 cans = 0.5 inch of water in 30 minutes
Also Check: Keep Rabbits Off Lawn
Find An Ifa Country Store Near You
Information for this article was provided by Aaron Jaussi, Branch Manager, Provo IFA Country Store Tina Potter, Utah Certified Nurseryman, Washington State Certified Nursery Professional , & Lawn & Garden Dept., Ogden IFA Country Store and Ken Holt, Lawn & Garden Category Manager, IFA Country Store
How Does Your Lawn Layout Impact Your Watering Schedule
Get to know your lawn well if you want to understand when and how to water your grass effectively. Areas that are shaded by trees may get spotty rainfall, filtered sunlight, or be slower to release water. Consider planting shade-friendly grass types like turf fescue, fine fescue, or centipede grass. If your lawn gets a minimum of six hours of sunlight, it should be fine.
Also, think about how your lawn is shaped and the total surface area it covers. Choose your sprinkler system or irrigation system according to the maximum surface area needed to be covered so that all of your grass gets enough water. If you wish, feel free to alter your lawn by adding or removing elements like trees, rocks, etc. to improve your watering.
Upgrade your garden with these bamboo ideas!
Read Also: How To Get Rid Of Ferns In Yard
What Are The Signs That Your Grass Needs More Water
Nature always finds a way to communicate, and your grass gives tell-tale signs when it needs more water. A distressed lawn may become discolored, have irregular dry patches, or will be completely dried out. If you see blades of grass rolling up or taking on a grey or blue-gray color, your lawn is thirsty. Dont stress about your lawn as your grass can recover. Make sure to rule out animal urine or fertilizer burns, which may be mistaken for lack of water.
Test your lawn out by walking over it for a bit and observe your footprints. If the grass doesnt return to its shape and you still see prints, its time to give your grass some water. Avoid overwatering your lawn to prevent the growth of fungus and stressing root systems.
How Long Should Sprinklers Run In Each Zone
Optimize your watering routine by understanding the zones within your lawn. Beware how water runs around flat or sloped areas to prevent erosion and loss of nutrients. Areas of your yard that receive more sun, or during hot weather, you will need to water more and longer. Choose the type of sprinklers and their placement wisely to reduce water waste. Ideally, your lawn will thrive, receiving 30 minutes of water per each zone, or two 15-minute sessions.
Don’t Miss: Does Coffee Grounds Get Rid Of Moles
Audit Your Sprinkler System
More than 50 percent of an average households annual water consumption is from watering outside. Auditing your sprinkler system, and fine-tuning its performance, can help save water. Thoroughly check your system each spring when you first turn it on. After each mowing, check to make sure sprinkler heads havent been broken or knocked out of alignment.
How To Tell If Your Lawn Getting Enough Water
To determine how much water your lawn is getting and how long the sprinkler should run, do this: Place several 1 high tuna cans around the lawn and turn on the sprinkler system. Note how long it takes to fill the cans. That is how long you should water the lawn.
Additionally, to make sure that your lawn is getting enough water, after watering it, take a long screwdriver and drive it into the soil. It should easily penetrate to a depth of 6-8 inches. If it does not, the lawn is not getting enough water.
Lastly, to know if your grass needs water, step on the lawn, and if the grass doesnt spring back, it is dehydrated.
Read Also: How Do Wild Violets Spread
How Long Should You Leave It Running
Your lawn needs between 1 and 1.5 inches of moisture per week to maintain ideal soil conditions. That means you need to really soak the ground. But you do not need to do this every day. Generally speaking, watering your lawn for 20 minutes to 30 minutes, three times per week, fulfills the soils needs. There are a couple of ways to ascertain the amount of liquid your grass is getting every time to hook up the hose or turn on the sprinkler.
Watering Different Types Of Grass
The duration of watering and its frequency greatly depend on the type of lawn you are maintaining. Proper lawn care varies with the type of grass, but it also depends on several factors such as the season and the area in which you live.
Different types of lawns have different watering and maintenance needs. It is therefore important to pay attention to your type of lawn and its needs. Once you know how much and how to water your specific type of lawn, it will be easy for you to set up a watering schedule to get the best results year round.
Read Also: How To Get Rid Of Nutsedge Grass
How Much Water Does My Lawn Need
If you water your lawn too much in summer it will begin to turn yellow and grow fungus and weeds. If you water your lawn too much in winter it will get brown patches and begin to grow weeds.
Pop-up sprinkler heads should run about 30 – 40 minutes.
Rotating sprinklers should run for about an hour to an hour and a half.
Of course all this depends on coverage. Just because an area is getting wet does not mean it is receiving enough water. Ideally, every time you water you want to have one inch of water applied to your entire lawn. Imagine that your lawn area was a bathtub. You would want to have one inch of water in entire tub.
Watering every day for short bursts per zone will cause a very shallow root system. You want to develop a deep root system so that your grass can access water in dry times and also be able to reach nutrients that are located deeper in the soil.
Watering every day for a longer period of time will cause the soil to become so wet that it will suffocate the roots allowing fungus and weeds to take over.
How Long To Water
How long you water really depends on what kind of sprinkler system you have, what your water pressure is like and what kind of weather conditions you are experiencing. Hot, dry conditions require more water to avoid any drought stress. Certain types of grasses, such as Kentucky bluegrass, require more water.
As a general rule of thumb, its good to water about 30 minutes two to three times per week but you can use your rain gauge to determine how much water your turf is receiving. Still unsure? Contact Fit Turf: Were here to help you determine the very best care for your specific yard needs. Our lawn gurus can provide you with recommendations specific to your lawn.
Recommended Reading: How To Kill Common Blue Violet
How Long Should I Water My Lawn In California
Watering your lawn in California can be challenging because of water restrictions, but it is possible to enjoy beautiful grass. Southern California has more drought-prone conditions, so water your lawn in the morning a few times a week for 20 minutes, up to 3 hours total time, or until the water reaches the right soil depth. In the winter and fall, you can reduce your watering schedule to once a week at a minimum of 20 minutes.
Watering Frequency: When Too Much Of Something Good Can Be Bad
With high temperatures in the summer months, keeping your lawn green and healthy can be a challenge and watering is key to maintaining that vibrant lawn. However, a proper watering strategy is crucial, including the time you water, how much you water, and a variety of other factors. Below are some basic questions you need to ask when deciding on the watering frequency for your lawn, as well as answers to help you get started.
When is the best time for me to water my lawn?
The answer this question is simple The earlier, the better! The best time to water your lawn is very early in the morning when the air is cooler and your lawn is still wet from dew. By watering in the morning, youll avoid some of the rapid evaporation that would happen later in the day as the sun comes out and temperatures rise. This gives the lawn time to absorb the water in the soil and reach the root zone.
Watering your lawn early in the morning is tremendously better than watering it at night, for completely opposite reasons. While watering during the day causes water to evaporate too quickly, watering in the evening allows water to cling to the grass for too long. Overnight, the water will continue to rest in the soil, around the roots, and on top the foliage, which will encourage it to rot, develop fungus, and attract insects.
How often should I water my lawn and how do I know if it needs to be watered?
Also Check: How To Get Rid Of Lawn Rust