Whether you’ve just purchased a home and are in charge of a lawn for the first time or have been maintaining your lawn for the past 30 years, it’s easy to water too much, too often, and the wrong way. Watering the right way can be a challenge, so here’s what you should know to achieve the lush, green lawn you’ve always wanted.

How often?

A common misconception about watering lawns is that they should be watered the same amount as other plants in your garden or plants around your property. In reality, different plants have different watering requirements. Watering grass every day will over-saturate the soil leading to fungus growth and diseases. Watering less often encourages a healthier growing system by allowing the roots to grow stronger and deeper. Clay soils should be watered once a week while sandy soils should be watered every three days.

 

How much?

The amount of water your lawn needs may even differ from the amount of water your neighbor’s lawn needs. So, how do you know how much water your lawn requires? Easy, all lawns are finished being watered when 6-8 inches of topsoil is wet. This can be determined using a shovel or screwdriver to see how deep the water has soaked. Another way to measure the amount of water is to use tuna cans, which are 1 inch tall. Place the containers on your lawn and see how long it takes 1 inch of water to gather in each can. For every 1 inch of water sprayed on your lawn, the water will move 6-8 inches into the soil. Also, check out this water rate calculator.

 

What time?

The ideal watering time is between 4 a.m. to 10 a.m. for around 15 minutes. At this time, the morning air is cool and there is little to no wind. Avoid watering during the heat of the day because the water will evaporate too quickly. If watering early is not possible, it’s better to water later in the day than not at all. The best time to do it later is between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. because the grass will have time to dry before nightfall. The later you water, the more likely your lawn will become diseased.

 

What kind of sprinkler?

With seemingly endless types of sprinkler heads and irrigation systems, choosing the right one for your lawn can be daunting. Hose-end sprinklers are a traditional type of sprinkler ideal for rectangular lawns that are small to medium-sized. In-ground sprinklers and other smart watering systems are the most efficient type of sprinklers. Not only do they minimize the amount of water lost to evaporation, some types connect to smartphones and tablets and use real-time weather data to turn on only when needed. For more information on sprinkler heads check out this helpful article.

 

 

Shady Lawns

For the most part, grass growing in the shade requires less water than sunny areas. Grass growing beneath trees, however, require more watering since it’s competing with tree roots for moisture. Additionally, shady lawns benefit from a higher mowing height. Longer grass blades mean more surface area for carrying out photosynthesis, which is important in the low-light environment of a shady lawn.

 

Don’t be Wasteful

Between the amount of water used, chemicals sprayed, and CO2 emitted, achieving a golf course quality turf can come at a cost. However, there are many eco-conscious decisions you can make to cut down on the negative impacts. To save water, consider using an irrigation timer. Don’t forget to adjust the timer setting every month because the amount of water your lawn needs can change in that short of a time span. Also, be cognizant of where your water system is spraying. If water is puddling on the lawn or hitting any surfaces like sidewalks or driveways adjust your nozzles or irrigation duration. Check out more eco-friendly lawn care tips here!

 

Follow these basic lawn care tips to enjoy a beautiful and healthy lawn!