When it comes to having a healthy and thriving lawn, water is at the heart of its care. The simple truth is that without the right amount of water, your lawn is never going to be able to perform its best.
While most people realize this, there are still a lot of questions about how to water grass. The way in which your water can also play a big role in your outcomes and there’s a bit more know-how to watering than most people know.
Because we want to help you get the best results for your lawn, we’re rounding up some helpful advice.
How to Water a Lawn that’s Established
First, it’s important to note that the watering needs for an established lawn are different from new grass seed. We’ve covered how to water after aeration and overseeding, if you’re looking for that information.
Established lawns need around one to two inches of consistent water per week. There are certainly plenty of times of the year when this can be met by rainfall. However, during dry spells, you may need to step up your sprinkler watering game or even have an irrigation system installed to simplify the task.
There are two telltale signs that a lawn is not receiving enough water. First, you may notice color changes such as going from green to dull green, yellow, or even brown. Second, you might notice footprints when you walk across the lawn. The grass blades will easily bend or crumple and not stand back up. These are signs of drought stress.
What makes it a bit confusing is that an over-watered lawn will also experience color changes. In fact, we’ve talked to homeowners who have told us their lawn was yellow so they kept watering it and it kept getting worse. This is because their lawn was actually receiving too much water. Besides a yellow or light green color, an overwatered lawn will also have a spongy feel to it when you walk across it. You may also notice runoff.
How Often Should I Water my Lawn?
In addition to how to water grass, you should also know how often.
We talk to a lot of homeowners who tell us they water their lawn daily but this is typically too much. A healthy lawn does not need to be watered that often.
Instead, stick to a schedule of one to two times per week if nature isn’t already providing deep and soaking rains that week.
When you do water, try to emulate nature by providing deep soaking rain so that the soil is moist to a few inches of depth. This could mean somewhere between 45-60 minutes per zone.
When is the Best Time to Water my Lawn?
The timing of watering a lawn is more important than a lot of people realize. Morning is the best time to water your lawn because you give it plenty of time to dry out (via evaporation) before nightfall.
If you water in the afternoon, or even worse, in the evening, there’s not enough sunlight to allow excess water to be evaporated. Overnight, water is just going to sit on your lawn which could actually lead to turf disease problems. This is because turf disease typically relies on wet foliage for reproduction. Watering your lawn at night can create the ideal environment for pathogens to grow and spread, harming your grass as a result.
Lawn Mowing and Water Needs
It’s also worth mentioning here how much of an impact your lawn mowing habits can have on your lawn’s watering needs. The shorter you cut your grass, the more water it’s going to need to remain healthy. Mowing too short puts a tremendous amount of stress on a lawn and has a huge impact on your lawn’s health. Ideally, you never want to cut more than one-third of the grass blades at a time. We also recommend that grass is cut no shorter than 3 to 3.5 inches.
A lot of times when lawns are struggling in color it’s a combination of them being cut too short and drought-stressed as a result. Allowing a professional to handle your mowing for you can help ensure that your lawn is cut to the ideal height to perform its best.
A Partnership Makes for a Great Lawn
Questions such as “how to water grass,” are common in our industry and we hear from a lot of homeowners who want to do the right things for their lawn they just don’t always know what those are. That can be a problem as your lawn’s needs will directly impact its health. At the end of the day, a lawn care program can only go so far. Truly getting the best out of your lawn will also mean that other needs, like watering, need to be properly met.
That’s why partnering with a professional is so valuable. A pro will want to help answer those questions that you have. They know that a truly great lawn is the result of a successful partnership.
At Kingstowne Lawn & Landscape, we want to set you up for success. If you ever have any questions about watering grass or any other concerns, we are always here to help. We know that a healthy lawn is a team effort and it is our goal to always do what it takes to help you see the results you desire.
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