How to Properly Water Your Lawn
One of the aspects of lawncare which is most necessary in order to maintain a healthy and good looking lawn is the way you approach watering. Here are some of the most important points to keep in mind when preparing a watering schedule for your lawn.
How much water your lawn needs
Every week of the year, all year long, your lawn needs between 1″ and 1-1/2″ of water, and that includes wintertime as well. To be sure of how much water your lawn is getting, you should purchase a rain gauge, and if it registers an inch of water every week, your lawn is probably in pretty good shape, and you won’t need to water it. If it’s well below that mark, you’ll need to artificially make up the difference, and water your lawn using a sprinkler system or a garden hose.
How much watering is necessary to get one inch of water?
If you have an automatic sprinkler system, it will probably take about an hour to deliver 1″ of water to your lawn. You can be sure of how much water is actually getting to the lawn by simply placing a tuna can in the direct line of the sprinkler and then waiting for it to fill up 1″ of the can. You’ll probably have to water more heavily during times of drought or near drought, and especially when temperatures start to soar. This will always put a considerable amount of stress on your lawn, because evaporation will cause much of the water to be lost.
Don’t water daily
If you get into the habit of watering your lawn daily, it will generally cause your grass to develop a very shallow root system. This is not what you want, because it will cause the root system itself to dry out quickly, and that will leave your turf weakened. It’s much better to water your lawn more deeply three times a week, because this will promote a stronger root system, and it will help your lawn to become more resistant to droughts when they come along.
When possible, water early
The reason you should water your lawn early in the morning, is that you want it to dry out completely by the time evening arrives. If your lawn stays wet at night regularly, it’s very possible that fungus could develop, or that you might have disease problems with your lawn. It’s usually much less windy and cooler in the morning as well, so there will be far less evaporation. That means you’ll save money on your water bill, and it will take a whole lot less time to get the water delivered to your lawn. If it’s simply not possible to water in the morning, then go ahead and take care of it at whatever time is do-able for you, because not watering at all is much worse than watering in the morning.
Water more when it’s hot out
You will generally have to provide more water to your lawn during the heat of the summer, so that it doesn’t become stressed by the drought. This condition will be worsened if there are high winds which accompany the high temperatures. If you live in an area where the temperature gets to above 90°F for quite a while, you should make a point of raising your mowing height a little, and doing some light watering every day to keep the grass a little cooler. These daily light waterings during high temperature should be in addition to your three-times-a-week deep waterings. Grass always requires much more water during hot temperatures, because the water is used as an internal coolant as well as for its valuable nutrients.