Water is essential for healthy grass. Proper watering is the single most important thing you can do to keep your lawn in tip-top shape. Follow these six simple tips for happier, healthier grass.
1. Water in the morning
Watering in the a.m. is best for your lawn. The air is cooler, there is less wind to blow the droplets, and the water doesn’t evaporate as quickly. Aim to water between 6–10 am.
Avoid watering in the evening because it gives way for fungus and lawn disease to form overnight—letting your lawn go dormant is better than it getting a fungal disease from too much water.
2. Water two or three times a week, max
For clay soils, water twice a week max. For sandy soils, water three times a week max
While some people like to water daily, it puts you at risk of over-watering. Too much water can cause fungus and a weak root system. It’s less efficient! Water deeply and infrequently, and your lawn will thank you.
3. Soak 6–8 inches into the soil
For established lawns, you should be aiming to water long enough so that it soaks 6–8 inches into the soil. You’ll want to test this on your next watering to see how long it takes your turf and you can use a screwdriver to do so. Check every 15 minutes to see how deep the water has run.
4. Let water soak into hard soil
Hard soils are tightly compressed soils. Since they’re compressed, their ability to uptake water, nutrients and oxygen is greatly reduced.
To combat this during watering, water for 30 minutes, let it soak in, then water for another 30 minutes. This results in less run-off, less water waste, and a happier lawn. Be sure to follow tip 3 above to figure out exactly how much time your lawn needs to be watered for.
5. Know your grass type
In general, warm-season grasses like Zoysia, St. Augustine, Bermuda and Centipede require less water than cool-season grasses like Kentucky bluegrass, perennial ryegrass, fine and tall fescues because they form a deeper root system and are more drought tolerant. This means that over-watering warm-season grasses has a more detrimental effect than over-watering cool-season grasses. you want to avoid over-watering any type of grass!
Check out our Grass Identification Guide if you’re unsure what your grass type is.
6. If you live in a drought-prone area
Cut at the highest recommended mow height for your grass. Taller grass cools the grass below by giving it shade, reducing moisture loss.
When in drought, avoid mowing altogether. Cut grass loses lots of moisture through cut blades. Be sure to water in moderation, and very early in the morning.
Facing mandatory water restrictions yet tired of coming home to a brown, dormant lawn? Check out page 3 of this manual.
Be sure to remember to implement these tips as soon as possible. Watering correctly isn’t hard, and it will make a big difference to the quality of your lawn.
Now that you have a solid foundation, you can start to explore products and methods that will help take your lawn to the next level.