How often should I water my lawn?
There are three things to consider: the weather, the type of soil and the depth of roots. Weather is the most obvious factor. When it’s hotter you’ll need to water more frequently. In the summer you’ll probably need to water every other day, if not every day (depending, of course, on where you live). The type of soil affects how much water is available for the grass to use. Heavy (clay) soils hold the most water, meaning you’ll probably water less frequently. Sandy soils do not hold water well, so you’ll water them more often. Deeper roots mean there is more available water for the grass and, therefore, you’ll need to water less frequently. Think of the soil as a sponge that holds water for the grass. The deeper the sponge, the more water it can hold. It is wise to establish watering practices that encourage deep root growth. This allows lawns to go longer between watering, cutting down on disease potential and, ultimately, the amount of water you’ll use.
Best Time to Water
Watering in the morning allows the surface of the lawn and garden to dry off during the day. Early morning watering helps to prevent lawn diseases that can be caused by watering at night because it gives your lawn time to dry by night fall. Midday watering can cause the water to evaporate too quickly and cause fungal problems. The exception to this guide is when you are in extremely hot weather and night time temperatures don’t go below 68 degrees. Then it is better to water in the late afternoon or early evening, providing you don’t have watering-time restrictions. Early or late in the day reduces the amount of evaporation that takes place during the very hot day, allowing more water to reach the root zone.
Water as infrequently as possible.
Water deeply and infrequently so the roots of the plants learn to grow down into the soil to get the water they need. Thoroughly water so moisture soaks down to the roots. Basically, your lawn needs moisture (water), nutrients, and air to grow. By watering too much, you can continuously saturate your soil to the point where the grass roots lack air and cannot grow deep enough roots. Exceptions to this general rule would be for newly seeded lawns where the surface needs to stay moist or newly sodded lawns that have not yet rooted into the soil, Otherwise, avoid frequent watering.
Use a timer, if you’re in a rush in the morning, to automatically shut-off the sprinkler or set a timer so you don’t forget and over-water. Use a rain gauge to measure how much water you’re applying. Over-watering does more than deplete the water supply, it also makes plants prone to pests and adds to storm-water runoff, which pollutes our water systems. By choosing and operating a watering system correctly, you can reduce water bills, insect and disease problems, and maintenance requirements. For example, the more you water your lawn, the faster it grows and the more it needs to be mowed
Spread the water uniformly across the lawn.
Sprinklers vary in distribution patterns, and require spray overlap for uniform coverage. . Avoid flooding areas, or missing other spots, it may be necessary to apply the water in several applications to allow for adequate penetration.
Don’t water the lawn if rains are expected soon. Keep track of rainfall for the week. Don’t apply more water to the lawn than what is absolutely necessary. The guide of about 1″ of water per week. If your lawn doesn’t get that 1″ of water, it’s not going to die. If the soil becomes too dry the lawn will not be able to satisfy its own requirements. This will cause the lawn to become weak and susceptible to changes in color, insect damage and disease.