Ensure Your Lawn Is Getting Enough Water
Watering on a regular basis is essential to achieving a thick, healthy lawn. By working together with your lawn care company, youll have the knowledge and tools to properly water your lawn and give it the care it needs.
Our custom blended fertilizers can actually help your lawns root system to retain moisture better over time, by adding bionutritional materials that can help you get the most out of your watering efforts.
If you ever have any questions about the best time to water grass in Ohio or Northern Kentucky, the lawn technicians at Oasis Turf & Tree are always available to help. When we come to your home, were not just there to perform treatments. A healthy lawn is a team effort, and its our goal to continuously educate you on what you can do to achieve success.
Watering Lawn At Night: Good For Your Grass Or Bad Idea
Youre not a person who likes waste. So, when you heard that watering during the day was a bad idea because the sun just evaporates the water, you did what seemed like the obvious thing. You switched the timer on your sprinkler system to water at night.
After a while, though, you notice some bare brown spots developing on your lawn. You think your grass must need more water, so you extend your watering time. How frustrating is it when you notice the problems only get worse? Very.
By the time you call in a professional who tells you its root rot, the problem has gotten bigger and costlier. Or maybe you hear you have brown patch. What is brown patch? The short answer is that both conditions can turn into huge headaches. To make matters worse, your lawn technician may tell you that its your fault. How? By watering your plants at night.
Some homeowners water their lawns based on a common misconception: that our hot summer days make daytime watering useless. If water evaporates before it gets to the roots, you would only assume you should change to night watering.
The truth is: watering at night is a bad idea. Thats why we created this guide about the best time to water your lawn. Keep reading to learn exactly why night watering leads to issues, as well as what the best time to water your lawn is for your climate.
What Youll Learn:
Watering Tips And Guidelines For An Established Lawn:
The following rules will help you determine if you should water your lawn:
- When temperatures exceed 85 degrees, watering is highly recommended and should be increased to avoid dormancy and browning of turf.
- In general, it is more beneficial to water less often and more deeply. This helps promote deep root growth, which, in turn, allows your grass to go longer between watering.
- Shady areas need less water than sunny areas. Likewise, low areas require less water than hills.
- Under watering leads to dormancy. It can take a week of watering to have a dormant lawn green up again.
- Water in the morning, rather than in the evening or mid-day. This allows more water to penetrate the soil and can help prevent fungal disease.
- Sprinkler systems are wonderful. Unattended sprinkler systems frequently waste water and lead to an unhealthy lawn.
- Over watering leads to shallow roots, increased thatch, and an environment that promotes fungal disease and weed growth.
- Know your soil. Clay soils need less water than sandy soils conversely, sandy soils require more frequent watering than clay soils.
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How Can I Protect A Dormant Lawn
There are times when the weather and the local water supply are simply beyond your control. If environmental concerns, high water costs, or watering restrictions prevent you from watering your lawn as often as youd like, there are simple steps you can take to save it.
- If possible, maintain a minimal watering schedule of ½ of water every 7-14 days. Your lawn will still look brown, but will have a better chance of surviving the drought.
- A dormant, drought-stressed lawn can be easily damaged, so it is best to stay off it as much as you can.
- Once the lawn begins to receive water again, it should start to green up within 14 days some areas may need to be reseeded.
Stay Clear From Fertilizers During A Heat Wave
Synthetic fertilizers can do your turf a lot of harm during summer, especially if youre growing cold season grasses. When applied, your grasses are forced to grow and use more water.
This consumes more water and energy than heat waves actually allows them to produce. This can be really stressful and damaging for the lawn.
Also, during very high temperatures, synthetic fertilizers can lead to your grass burning if care is not taken.
If you must fertilize during a heat wave, make sure you go organic and natural. Slow-release organic fertilizer is a perfect alternative.
While cold season grasses are absolutely intolerant to synthetic fertilizers during heat waves, warm-season grasses may actually be fertilized during early or mid-summer, because at that point, the plants are still actively growing and can still repair easily whatever is damaged.
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Irrigate Using A Drip System
Achieving optimum results should be your focus during a heat wave. Weve all agreed that what should be increased is not the number of times the lawn is watered, but the depth at which it is watered.
For maximum result, go for a drip irrigation system. This will ensure that water gets down right into the base of the plants, rather than just settling on your blades or at the surface of the soil. It will also reduce the moisture thatll be lost due to evaporation.
Best Time Of Day To Water Your Lawn
The best time to water your lawn is before 10 a.m., preferably between 4 a.m. and 6 a.m. At this cool time of day, its less likely the moisture will evaporate before your grassroots can absorb it from the soil.
If you cant water before 10 a.m., dont make the mistake of watering late at night. It may be cool then, but if the moisture sits on your grass overnight, it can make your lawn more prone to disease. The second-best time to water is between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m.
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How Often Should I Water My Lawn
The simple answer is only water your lawn when it needs it. But we all know determining that is easier said than done! As much as possible, tailor your watering routine to fit the needs of each area of your lawn. Sunny spots will need to be watered more often than shaded areas. An automated sprinkler system that is not adjusted to water areas according to their needs, or the weather conditions can waste water, and leave grass vulnerable to disease and damageespecially if there are areas of standing water.
Lawn Mowing And Water Needs
Its also worth mentioning here how much of an impact your lawn mowing habits can have on your lawns watering needs. The shorter you cut your grass, the more water its going to need to remain healthy. Mowing too short puts a tremendous amount of stress on a lawn and has a huge impact on your lawns health. Ideally, you never want to cut more than one-third of the grass blades at a time. We also recommend that grass is cut no shorter than 3 to 3.5 inches.
A lot of times when lawns are struggling in color its a combination of them being cut too short and drought-stressed as a result. Allowing a professional to handle your mowing for you can help ensure that your lawn is cut to the ideal height to perform its best.
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Other Watering Guidelines To Consider:
- Proper watering is critical to your lawns health and vigor. Deep and infrequent watering is the best practice. During the hotter months of the year, the lawn will require more water, so that may mean ¾ of irrigation at a time rather than the ½ of irrigation typically required in the cooler months. This means wetting the soil to a depth of 4-6 inches per irrigation.
- Water at times of low wind.
- Water during the very early morning rather than in the afternoon or evening to minimize risk for disease.
- To reduce water runoff and to help water penetrate and soak deeply into the soil, we recommend Cycle and Soak watering schedule. Instead of watering for a long period of time and allowing the water to runoff into the street, divide the total watering time per zone by 3. Water 3 shorter intervals . For example at 3am, 4am, and 5am, before winds pick up. Each cycle, water for 15 minutes for rotor heads, 8 minutes for stationary pop-ups, and 30 minutes for low volume MP Rotator heads. Water less in shaded or poorly drained areas.
- Do not water every day or two. Frequent, short watering encourages shallow roots, unhealthy grass, plants, and leaves turf susceptible to drought, weeds, and disease.
From 2nd Day To 6 Week
Because this type of lawn is a mixture of seeds and mulch, you must water the lawn every day, two to three times a day. Do not water the hydroseed lawn on the first day start on the 2nd day. Every single section of the lawn requires intense watering for 10 to 15 minutes. It is not enough to lightly spray the mulch mixture for a few minutes and then end the watering session.
If you have a lawn that is one flat area with no corners or turns, purchase a sprinkler with a wide radius. The sprinklers need to spray water beyond the corners of the lawn to ensure proper watering. Do this diligently for four to six weeks, and once the time passes, you can switch to the next watering schedule.
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When To Water Your Lawn After Fertilizing
If your lawn gets liquid fertilizer, wait until it dries before watering, about 2-4 hours.If its granular fertilizer, water right away. One exception: if you also got spot weed treatments at the same time, wait for that to dry before watering, or the water will wash off the weed killer before it can work.
The Consequences Of A Lack Of Water For Your Lawn
When the lawn is left unwatered for an extended period of time, the lawn seeks protection from water stress and goes dormant. It therefore stops growing, which causes the appearance of a dark yellowish or brownish color. At this point, the leaves and stems dry out and turn brown, but the underground parts still remain alive.
In general, a well-maintained lawn can survive summer droughts without the need for irrigation. However, after 4 weeks without water, it is very likely that your lawn will take on a yellowish or orange tint, which means that it is seriously dried out and needs urgent watering.
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When To Stop Watering The Lawn In Fall
You should not completely stop watering your lawn in the fall until the ground freezes. After the ground freezes, it would be pointless to water grass because the frozen ground would act as a barrier, blocking the water’s path to the roots.
This is why the cold temperatures of northern winters are said to create desert conditions. “Desert” might conjure up images of cacti and succulents growing in hot sands, but it also applies to regions in which water is locked up in the form of ice. Plants survive the lack of water by going into dormancy, a sleep-like state in which they don’t need irrigation.
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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Youve Watered After Fertilizing Now What
After this initial watering, avoid watering your lawn for a couple days so the nutrients can settle in. Then, return to your regular lawn-watering schedule, and remember these tips:
- Dont water every day. Water deeply and infrequently. Water too often, and it encourages shallow, needy roots. Water less often but deeply, and roots will grow deeper and healthier and be happy with less water. Grass needs about an inch of water each week.
- Early morning is the best time to water. Its still cool, so all that valuable water wont evaporate in the hot sun. Wrap up your watering as close to sunrise as possible. If sunrise is at 6 a.m., you should be done watering at 6.
Lawn Watering Guidelines For Colorado Springs
|Late Fall through Winter||This is a very important time to water the lawn. Most damage occurs during the January to February time frame.||Water 1-2 times per month on days above 50 degrees. Water up to 1 each time that you water using a garden hose and sprinkler.|
|Spring||Water 1-2 times per week depending on natural precipitation.||1 per week recommended|
|Summer||Water each section heavily at least twice a week. Cycle and Soak to avoid runoff and wasted water.||1 ½ per week recommended|
|Early Fall||Mid September, October||The shorter days and cooler nights help keep the soil cool and moist. You only need to water 1-2 times a week.||1 per week recommended|
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How Often To Water The Lawn
How often you water your lawn is also an important factor to consider. Instead of watering your lawn daily, we recommend watering 1 to 2 times per week if Mother Nature isnt already providing steady, soaking rains.
Deep and less frequent watering is ideal. Watering 1 to 2 times per week will provide you with better results by giving your lawn plenty of time to dry between waterings. This also helps to reduce turf diseases.
A soaking is the optimal type of watering that should be performed, as opposed to occasionally watering here or there. The goal is to deeply soak your lawn until the soil is moist to a few inches of depth. The exact amount of time this will take varies depending on the size of your lawn and your sprinkler system, but could take 45-60 minutes on average.
Of course, Mother Nature will hopefully be doing some of the watering work for you. Even so, you dont want to assume that a heavy downpour automatically means you can skip watering your lawn that week. Using a rain gauge is one of the most effective ways to measure the amount of water your grass is getting to make sure youre in the right range.
Moisture levels can also be tested with a soil probe, which will either take a sample out of the ground or use electronic sensors to test the moisture. A DIY alternative with an object you already own would be to see how easy it is to stick a stake or a screwdriver into the ground. If you cannot easily push it in, your soil is too dry.
Misconception #: How Much I Water My Lawn Is Based On The Season
While a lot of people believe that the watering needs of the lawn are set by the season, the truth is it has nothing to do with the season and everything to do with how much moisture is present in the soil. You might be wondering, when do I start watering my lawn in the spring? The answer is that it all depends on how much rainfall is present. You could have a dry spring which requires you to ramp up your watering. The hotter and windier it is, the more quickly your lawns soil will dry out.
If youre wondering about watering your lawn in the winter, there is no need. Grass goes dormant in the winter and the cool temperatures help keep soil from drying out. No matter what the season, the answer is giving your lawn what it needs to thrive.
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The Best Time To Water Your Grass
Follow these eight tips for healthy grass with a deep, strong root system.
Proper watering is as important to maintaining a lush, green lawn. Too little water and the grass will shrivel up and die too much water and itll become over-saturated and die. Watering a lawn seems like a simple enough task, but for most of us knowing the best time to water your grassand how long to water your lawncan be confusing.
To provide you with a time-proven, easy-to-follow strategy for watering lawns, we contacted lawn care expert Matt Maurer, owner of PureLawn Lawn Services, with branches in Cincinnati and Dayton, Ohio. Matt shared with us the following eight DIY-friendly tips for growing a resilient, healthy lawn with a deep, strong root system.
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The absolute best time to water your lawn is the early morning, before 10 a.m., says Maurer. Cooler temperatures and calm breezes help keep evaporation to a minimum. And watering in the morning keeps the turf cooler during the hottest parts of the day, which means less stress on the grass.
As a general rule, you should water long enough to moisten the soil down to about 6 inches, which is the average depth of a healthy grass-root system. It takes about one inch of water to properly hydrate normal lawns to that depth. But, Maurer warns, “Each lawn has different soil. You have to water for your specific property.” There are a few ways to determine whether your lawn is getting the right amount of water.