If you have a lovely lawn on your property, then you’ll want to keep it looking amazing. When it comes to the appearance of your lawn, there are plenty of different obstacles to overcome and factors that need to be considered.
This could be stopping weeds from dominating, choosing a good feed treatment, or just mowing it regularly. However, there is a key ingredient that we all know the lawn needs, but we often do not consider.
This is water, and we all know that if a plant does not have water, it will not be able to survive. Even the most resilient blades of grass will eventually die if they do not have access to water.
And when it comes to watering the lawn there are sometimes other factors that need to be considered, like how much it has been raining recently, or if there is rain coming up. Will you accidentally over water the grass, and is this ever something you want to aim for?
So, while watering the lawn is something that should be simple, as you can see there are actually far more factors at play than you might have originally accounted for.
Do You Need To Water Your Lawn?
For most people, watering the lawn is not something you will need to do. If you are lucky enough to live in a more wet area where there are showers pretty often, then you will not always need to water your lawn.
This is because your lawn will be getting most of the moisture it needs from its own soil. You might be wondering, though, what if there is a dry spell, will this make it so you need to water your lawn manually?
Well your grass roots will usually only occupy either the top two or maybe three inches of the soil.
This means that if the temperatures do get high enough, then the top layer of the soil in your lawn will start to dry out, and in these cases, the plant might not be able to get enough water.
However, grass is a pretty tough plant, and when something like this happens it will end up going into hibernation mode.
This means the plant will go dormant and the leaves of the grass will turn brown, and look like they are dying back.
However, when it starts to rain again, the grass plant will spring back to life, and it will send out new fresh shoots helping the plant recover to its old state. So with this information, you might be thinking that you never need to water your lawn.
But, there are still some scenarios where watering your lawn might be necessary. For example, if there is a drought which lasts quite a long time, then once your grass dies back it might actually stay dead.
This means that you might need to do some extra seeding when you eventually get more moisture.
Also, when your grass has turned brown, you might notice that some tougher species of weeds will be able to establish themselves, and this can happen even in the most weed free lawn.
You also might notice that the older brown grass leaves will eventually form thatch in the lawn, and this can create moss as well.
All of a sudden, your garden has transformed into something completely different, a big departure from what you initially might have hoped for or had.
So, in some cases, you might need to water your lawn if you find yourself going in this direction.
How Often To Water Your Lawn?
Ideally, you should hope that your lawn is getting watered at least once a week. If you are just watering your lawn for a couple of minutes, this could end up having a more detrimental than a positive effect.
This is because if you are just giving a small dose of water, it will not be able to penetrate your soil like a good shower of rain would, meaning that the water will end up staying on the top few millimeters of the soil.
This, in turn, means that the roots of your grass will not be going down to look for the water, which can weaken it over time as the root system becomes increasingly shallow.
And if you have weaker grass, your lawn will be much more susceptible to weed invasions and general wear and tear.
As such, you should aim to give your lawn a good soak about once a week. This will ensure that your soil is properly saturated, and the roots of the grass will be encouraged to go deeper to look for their moisture.
If you have deeper roots, you will end up with a healthier and tougher plant.
How Much Water Is Enough?
Generally speaking, if you want your lawn to thrive, you will want it to be getting about an inch of water every week. This will lead to optimal growth.
One of the best ways to check if you are getting this is to put an empty can of something like tuna under your sprinkler. But really, any container which has straight sides will work well.
Once this has filled up to an inch, then you can turn off your sprinkler. Hopefully this will be enough water for your lawn for the week if there has not been any rain.
The Best Time To Water The Lawn?
So, now you know how much you should be watering your lawn, you need to know when the best time for you to water your lawn is.
Generally speaking, we find that we get the best results when we have watered our lawn in the morning. Why? Well, this is one of the cooler times of day, meaning you will lose a lot less moisture to something like evaporation which can happen at a hotter time of day.
The early afternoon will also work, however, we do not recommend water any later into the evening.
This is because if you have water left on the grass when it is more dark and humid, it will create the best environment for fungus to form, like red thread for example.
This means that your lawn will become covered in brown marks that you would likely much rather avoid — It can end up looking worse than a dry lawn!
Bear in mind, you will also want enough time for your grass to dry out before it gets dark if you are watering in the evening.
Costs To Water Your Lawn?
The most effective way to water your lawn if you are not getting enough water naturally is to use a sprinkler.
However, when it comes to using a sprinkler, some people get discouraged because they think it’ll be too expensive, but luckily this is not really the case.
Of course, this will change depending on how big your garden is, but to give your garden an inch of watering, this will simply not cost that much.
It will also cost a lot less to water your garden than it would to pay for the fixes that need to be made if your garden dies out due to the lack of watering.
Because of this, we recommend that you keep an eye on the water your grass is getting by using our tuna can method.
This will ensure you do not over water your lawn and spend any excess money where you do not need to!
Watering In Summer
Once you have gotten past mid-spring you will notice that your lawn will have woken up and started properly growing. Because of this, you will want to be giving your lawn slightly more water than you did before.
We think you should aim to give your lawn between an inch and an inch and a half of water. If you want the best results, you can split this watering over two different sessions.
This will better encourage the water to penetrate deeper into the soil and will further encourage stronger root systems.
This is also more effective than just watering a little every day because the deeper your roots end up growing, the more tolerant your lawn will end up being.
Once you make it to the peak heat of summer, depending on how hot it gets in your region, you might want to water a little more, but no more than 2 inches a week. This is to account for the extra evaporation you are likely getting from the excess heat.
You can also split this into 3 sessions to make it extra effective, but just 1 or 2 will still work if this is not possible for you. You will want to water as early as possible to avoid the aforementioned evaporation and to ensure the heat is not too high to water.
Watering In Early Spring
You should not really need to be watering your lawn in the early spring, and this will only usually be necessary during drier spells. This is because the earlier weeks of spring tend to be notorious for how wet they are, but in spite of this, you can still encounter dry spells.
For example, if there has not been any rainfall for a week or even two, and if your ground is not frozen and starting to dry out, then you might need to water your lawn.
You will want to give your lawn about an inch of water to properly penetrate the soil, and, also, just keep an eye on it.
You might only find it necessary to water your lawn once or twice throughout spring, and then only monitor after this, and in most regions, this should not be necessary at all. But be sure to keep an eye on the weather report for any potential droughts.
How much you need to water your lawn will always depend on how much rain you are getting naturally.
You will know you will need to water your lawn if there has not been rain for a long enough time. If this happens you will want to start giving your lawn at least an inch of water every week.
You also want to ensure that you are giving your lawn a deep enough water. This will ensure that the roots of the grass will grow deeper. Then, you will not have to worry about the grass being weaker because of shallow roots.
Frequently Asked Questions
When To Stop Watering Your Lawn?
Depending on how much rain you are getting, you will usually only need to water the lawn into fall and then you can stop once the ground has frozen. If it has been raining, you will not need to water.
How To Water Newly Seeded Lawns?
These require a lot more moisture and you should follow the guidelines that come with the seeds. Generally speaking, however, new seeds require a deep watering every morning for the first few weeks of rooting.