Water and fertiliser are two things any lawn needs to remain healthy. While adding fertiliser is easy enough to do, water can be an entirely different matter. Normally we rely on rainfall to water the lawn but there are parts of the year where this is not possible, typically around summer time when droughts are more likely to occur, while many people live in climates where there isn’t enough annual rainfall to maintain a healthy lawn.
In either case, when there is not enough rain for the lawn, we need to do the job ourselves, yet there is a lot of confusion around how best do this. There are a lot things to consider when watering your lawn, from how much water to use to the best time to water, so let’s cover all the important info you need to know!
Always Water in the Morning When Possible
The idea of getting up early to water your lawn may seem like a hassle but it’s going to get the best results during dry and warm periods. This is because it’s still relatively cool outside so the water will not evaporate as much as it would if watering later in the day.
When water evaporates from the lawn it means that less moisture reaches deep into the soil and the roots aren’t being as nourished as they should be.
Also, when watering in the morning you provide soil with enough moisture that it remains nice and cool during the hottest portions of the day. During the summer this can get extreme, so keeping the grass cool helps to minimise the stress high temperatures have on it.
Water in Late Afternoon if You Can’t do it the Morning
Of course, not everyone has time to water their lawn in the morning or wants to leave sprinklers on while they work. If this is the case then you are best to water the lawn later in the afternoon, as it should be a bit cooler so a good time to avoid evaporation.
Don’t make the mistake of watering in the evening though! It may seem like a good idea because of how much cooler it is but this may cause more harm than good, because lawns that soak overnight are more susceptible to various diseases, so avoid doing so.
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Water Thoroughly to Ensure it Reaches the Roots
You won’t want to waste your time watering a lawn with a watering can as it’s going to take you far too long. Lawns need a lot of water, enough to reach six inches into the soil where the grass root system reaches, so a sprinkler is the fastest and easiest way of doing this.
The exact amount needed varies from each lawn, as things like the type of grass and how dry it has been, influences how much water is required. If you are unsure whether it’s watered enough try sticking a screwdriver or garden fork into the soil – it should easily reach around six inches if there is enough moisture.
If you can’t get that deep, continue watering and check again to see if its enough. You should also the sprinkler user manual, as the flow rate should indicate how long you need to water for to reach the desired depth.
Water Every 3 to 7 Days
When there is no rain for long periods you need to water frequently to ensure the lawn is getting enough moisture to survive. The frequency does depend on the soil, as some are better at retaining moisture than others.
For example, if your lawn features a lot of clay soil then you probably only need to water once per week until it starts raining frequently again. Sandier soils don’t retain water as good as clay soils, so watering every 3-4 days is recommended.
Watering daily is not recommended. While many assume a light daily watering is good for their lawn, it can encourage fungus to develop and shallow root systems. A deeper, less frequent watering is far more beneficial, encouraging roots to develop much deeper.
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Be Mindful of Hard Topsoil
Certain lawns, especially those on newer housing developments, have much tougher topsoil that water struggles to penetrate, so a different approach to watering is required. Rather than watering in one go, you need to water in smaller increments to give the water time to soak the soil.
Try watering for 30 minutes, leaving it for 30 minutes, repeating as needed.