Watering your lawn may sound like a simple enough task, but the truth is, a lot of people are unsure when it comes to exactly how much water their lawn needs or when to provide it. As we enter into the summer season when the drought-like conditions can cause your lawn to struggle, it’s important to consider how you can ensure your lawn is watered properly.
While your lawn can survive with a minimum amount of care, it’s going to suffer without water. If your lawn is not receiving enough water, you might start to notice that its color changes. A lawn that is deprived of water will dull and eventually turn brown. Another telltale sign that your lawn needs more water is if it gets matted down when you walk on it. If you can clearly see your footprints in your lawn, then it may be under watered.
On the flip side, it’s important to note that a lawn which is overwatered can also change color. Grass that turns light green or even yellow may actually be getting too much water. This can also be bad for your lawn. Other signs that your grass is overwatered is if it “squishes” when you walk or if you see runoff onto hardscaped areas.
How Much Water Does my Lawn Need?
Established lawns need between one to two inches of consistent water each week. It’s possible that this could be provided by rainfall, particularly during a rainy spring season. However, we find that most homeowners assume their lawn gets more rain than it really does.
In order to truly know how much water your lawn is receiving from rain, you could purchase an inexpensive rain gauge to measure the rainfall. This would give you a better idea of how much you need to water beyond Mother Nature’s provisions.
While turfgrass can bounce back from periods of drought, there can be consequences. A poorly watered lawn can begin to weaken, making it more prone to being infiltrated by weeds. Keeping your lawn well-watered, healthy, and thriving can help prevent this from happening—particularly during periods of summer drought.
When Should I Water my Lawn?
Did you know that there is a best time to water your lawn? We find that a lot of homeowners come home from work and use the evening hours to water. But the truth is, morning is the best time to water your lawn.
There are a few reasons why. For one, the air temperature is cooler and there is less wind. This means water is less prone to evaporate quickly (as it might mid-day, in the heat of the sun). In the evenings, as the sun is setting, water can cling to the grass blades overnight and create favorable conditions for the spread of turf diseases.
Turf diseases can spread rapidly when your lawn remains wet for long periods of time. This can harm the overall aesthetic appeal of your lawn while also putting it at risk of dying. If your lawn falls victim to a turf disease, it may require re-seeding to repair the dead patches.
It’s important to note that new grass will require even more water than an established lawn. In fact, grass seed requires moisture to begin its growth. If you’re trying to water brand new grass, once a day will not be enough. You’ll need to try to water several times throughout the day to ensure it’s truly getting enough. For the amount of water a new lawn needs, a professional irrigation system or at least a store-bought sprinkler is going to be essential. The last thing you have time to do is stand outside with a hose all day long.
Setting Your Lawn Up for Success
By keeping your lawn well watered, you are setting it up for success. A lawn that receives adequate water will grow thick and healthy, allowing it to better defend against disease, pests, and environmental stressors. This will ensure that you have the beautiful green lawn you desire, boosting the overall appeal of your property.