When Is The Best Time To Water Grass In Ohio
Water is found everywhere on Earth from the polar ice caps to the steamy geysers, and its an essential element for life to exist.
In general, lawns are fairly resilient and can handle a variety of conditions, but without water, grass struggles to survive. And while watering your lawn may seem like a simple task, there are many misconceptions regarding the best time to water grass in Ohio, and which are the best techniques for watering established lawns.
While homeowners have the best intentions when it comes to watering their lawn, these misconceptions could lead to potentially damaging mistakes. For example, theres a common misconception that it doesnt matter when or how frequently you water and that as long as your grass is getting water throughout the week, it will be fine. However, watering at the wrong times can actually do more harm than good.
Although the physical task of watering your lawn isnt incredibly complicated, having the knowledge to do the job correctly often leads to better results.
When it comes to caring for your lawn, we believe that lawn care companies and homeowners should work together for combined success. Below, well provide you with expert tips on when and how to water your already established lawn.
How Should I Water My Lawn
In general, lawns need approximately 1 to 1½ of water per week. Our experts recommend watering grass less often and more deeply. Giving your lawn a good soaking and allowing time between waterings encourages roots to grow deeper as they seek out moisture. A robust root system allows your grass to stay greener longer and it will require less water over time.
How To Balance Fall Lawn Irrigation
As important as it is to water your lawn in the fall until the ground freezes, it’s just as important not to overwater it. Overwatering can harm the root system of grass, and the excess moisture can put the lawn at risk for fungal diseases.
If your area receives sufficient rainfall in autumn , you might only have to water areas that have been overseeded or where new lawns have just been started. But if a relatively warm, dry spell occurs, be prepared to water the lawn just as you would in the summertime.
The time of day when you water the grass is also important. Watering in the early morning is best because the grass has all day to dry out before night falls. For the same reason, the evening is the worst time to water the lawn. This is one reason why automatic irrigation systems come in handy. They have timers you can set, so you don’t have to be an early riser to get the grass watered at the right time.
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How To Tell If Your Grass Isnt Getting Enough Water
There are several tell-tale signs that you need to water your lawn. Its simple as can be, but if your once-vibrant green lawn has taken on a gray shade, you need to water. Curled grass blades are another indicatorit means your grass is thirsty.
If youre unsure, consider tackling one of two tests. For the step test, simply walk on your lawn. If your lawn is well-watered, your grass should spring right back up where youve stepped. If it doesnt, its lacking moisture, so it needs water.
The screwdriver test is another classic. See if you can drive a long-bladed screwdriver 6 inches into the soil. If you cant push the tool down that far or you meet a lot of resistance, its time to water.
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.
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Learn To Read A Lawn And Know When To Water
Turfgrass water-use rates are high during sunny and windy days with low relative humidity. In situations where lawns are not watered and rainfall is limited, grasses first show symptoms of wilt and later turn completely brown.
Signs that a lawn should be thoroughly watered for grasses to remain green and actively growing
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.
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When Should You Start Watering Your Lawn
knowing when you should start watering your lawn is integral to lawn maintenance and health. Water is what grass needs to survive, grow, and maintain its form. Go too long without watering your lawn and it starts to die. Start watering your lawn too early and it goes to waste as soil isnt in the condition to sufficiently absorb it.
Temperature and Weather
The best way to get a sense of when to start watering your grass is simply by the temperature and weather. Once it is consistently milder there is no more snow or frost and is generally warmer you should start evaluating your lawn to see if it is ready for watering.
Make Sure the Grass is Dry
Check to see if the grass has completely thawed and subsequent wetness and moisture has evaporated. Its important to make sure the grass, as well as the soil, has dried out completely before thinking about watering.
The lawn will tell you when its ready, theres no need to rush it. You dont need to worry if your lawn even turns slightly brown before you start watering it. And its always possible that nature steps in, in the form of rain, to do the watering for you.
Water in the Early Morning
Another thing to keep in mind of is the time of day you should be watering your lawn. Early morning is the optimal time for watering. During the middle of the day, the sun is out and that makes watering wasteful due to the evaporation taking place as a result of the heat.
Two Inches of Water a Week
Purchase A Rain Gauge
In many cases, Mother Nature will do all of the hard work for you. Your lawn only needs about an inch of water a week. While you cant prevent overwatering as a result of heavy rainfall, you can shut off your sprinklers if its an abnormally wet week. How will you know how much rainfall youve received? Buy an inexpensive rain gauge to monitor it for you.
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Best Time To Water Grass In Hot Weather
Your clue about when to water grass is in that phrase above: during the hottest part of the day. Its not all day that you need to avoid, but just the hottest parts of the day.
Think about when its warmest where you live. For most of us, that means late morning, the middle of the day and during the afternoon and early evening before the sun sets.
If you try to water your lawn during these times, most of it absolutely will be evaporated before your grass and plants can soak it in and benefit from it. You will end up with thirsty roots that arent getting the moisture they need, especially during when the temperatures are consistently high and there is less rainfall.
The options mentioned above are not the only times of the day though. Whats missing? Early morning.
Set your sprinklers to water relatively early in the morning. The water will then have time to soak into the ground. At that time, your plants roots will have time to drink their fill.
Then, by the time your sprinklers are done, the sun will be stronger. Any leftover moisture will be baked away rather than sitting there on your lawn, encouraging disease.
How To Care For Spring Lawns
With a few spring lawn care tips, you can have the yard youve always dreamed of.
Watering Dont be tempted to water your lawn in early spring. Wait until the grass shows signs of wilt, which may not happen until late spring or early summer or maybe even later. Watering too early only encourages shallow root growth, which will be unable to withstand hot, dry summer weather and may result in a brown, dry lawn by picnic season. When you start watering, water deeply then let the grass wilt slightly before watering again. Typically, about an inch of water per week is enough.
Fertilizing Similarly, spring isnt a good time for fertilizing the lawn because the tender, new growth is likely to be scorched when the weather turns hot in summer. This is especially important if you live in a climate affected by drought. If your lawn isnt healthy, you can apply a light application of a balanced slow-released lawn fertilizer, but withhold heavier fertilization until autumn. The exception is if your lawn consists of St. Augustine or another warm season grass. If this is the case, fertilize as soon as the grass greens up and shows active growth in mid to late spring.
Aerating If your lawn needs aeration, which involves poking small holes in the lawn so water, nutrients, and air can reach the roots, midspring is a good time. However, wait until fall to remove thatch.
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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
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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Six Weeks After Hydroseeding The Lawn
If four to six weeks pass and your lawn looks on track and healthy, then it is okay to stop watering the lawn so frequently. Depending on the lawns health and the heat, You can scale your watering all the way back to half an hour every week. If the rain comes for one day in a week, you do not have to water your lawn that week.
Let the rain take care of your hydroseed lawn, and do not add any extra moisture. In the first six weeks, the mulch needs to be slightly moist at all times. Now, allow the lawn and the mulch to dry out. Just be sure to water every section of the lawn thoroughly when it is time to water it.
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Water For One Hour Per Week
The main average is watering your lawn for a single hour per week is more than enough for the majority of grass species.
You might think that watering your lawn every single day for 15 to 20 minutes will do the trick. Yet, all this does is make your grassroots more dependant on your daily watering. So, what do you think happens when you travel and skip a couple of days?
The weak and shallow grassroots will die out.
The best way to water your lawn will be by giving it a solid watering session for an hour every week. This way, youll be mimicking nature by providing the equivalent of an inch of rain every week.
Just remember to always keep up with your sprinkler maintenance, and youll have a smooth operation going in no time.
When To Start Watering Your Lawn In The Spring
At this point in the year, youre eager to start watering your lawn almost immediately when you set your sights on the first sunny day.
But, in fact, you might be better off waiting until later in the spring season. Why?
To begin with, the snowmelt here in Massachusetts should keep your soil well-hydrated for the first couple weeks of spring. During this period when grasses are just coming out of dormancy, overwatering can actually do more harm than good.
Take care not to overwater, as this can effectively drown sprouting grasses.
Typically, you should wait until the days become consistently hot and dry to start watering. You can even wait for your lawn to start showing signs of stress before you start watering it will recover quickly once you treat it to a good soak.
Do your watering early in the cool morning hours so that you wont lose moisture to evaporation. Set the timer on your sprinkler system so that you wont have to remember to water at specific intervals.
In the meantime, theres plenty of other work you can do to get your lawn ready for the growing season!
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Misconception #: The Best Time To Water My Lawn Is After The Sun Sets
While weve heard a lot of people in the Lehigh Valley or Buxmont, PA area say its best to water at night, the reverse is actually true.
The ideal time to water your lawn is just after the sun rises. At this time of day, its still cool and the water wont evaporate quicklybut it still gives the grass blades plenty of time to dry before the sun sets.
Wet, dark conditions create an ideal breeding ground for causing lawn disease that can damage your turf, so watering the lawn in the evening should be avoided.
If you cant find the time to water your lawn in the early morning, even with automated timers, then try to do it early enough during the day to allow grass blades to dry by nightfall. Mid-day watering wont hurt your lawn but you may need to do it longer as youll lose moisture to evaporation.
The Best Time Of Day To Water Your Lawn
The best time to water your lawn is early in the morning since it is cooler and the winds tend to be calmer, so the water can be absorbed by the roots before it evaporates. If for some reason you cannot water in the morning, it is best to water between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. rather than during the day or early afternoon. During the day more than 50% of the water evaporates before entering the ground. Make sure the blades of grass dry before dark to reduce the risk of fungal disease. Watering in the evening is not recommended!
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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.
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.