When should you water your lawn?

Here are the best practices for watering a healthy lawn:

Like many things, good lawn care is an ongoing practice. Keeping a healthy lawn involves many factors like regular mowing and proper watering.

However, the grass plant does not need the amount of water some people think, as it is naturally designed to use moisture through rain efficiently.

But, as we enter into the warmer months, we can start to expect potential dryer spells. In which case, you may need to water your lawn yourself. You may be concerned, asking yourself things like: ‘When do I need to water my lawn’, and ‘how much water do I need?’

These are all valid and reasonable questions. Not only that, they are questions that our lawn care experts at TruGreen have the answer to. So, we’ve put together a list of frequently asked questions about watering your lawn.

When should I water my lawn?

As a general rule of thumb, if Mother Nature does not provide enough rain for your lawn, wait until the grass dulls in colour or begins to sit flat and wilt after mowing as the signs that irrigation is needed.

While moisture is an essential part of maintaining a healthy lawn, it’s important to make sure that water is applied at the correct time of day, as using a sprinkler at the wrong time will result in mass evaporation of the water and a greater chance of disease.

Watering in the morning (preferably before 10 a.m.) is the best time for the grass plant, allowing water to be absorbed through the roots before the temperatures rise to a level where the water applied will be lost to the aforementioned evaporation.

Alternatively, you can get watering in the early evening, ideally between 5 pm and 8 pm, as with the longer daylight hours, this will allow for the grass leaf to dry before nightfall, significantly reducing the chances of disease.

Never water an established lawn between the hours of 12 noon and 3 pm, as not only will evaporation become an issue, but there is the added potential for leaf scorch during extreme temperatures.

How much water should I use on my lawn?

When watering an established lawn, you need to do so for long enough to maintain moisture in the soil profile to a depth of approximately 150mm (6 inches).

Be sure not to overwater the lawn, as excessive moisture in the upper surface will lead to shallow rooting, which in turn will give the perfect conditions for your grass to flourish.

Watering every day is not necessary, a maximum of 3 times a week, for 20 minutes per day is enough to maintain enough moisture in achieving strong growth and encouraging deep roots.

Should I water after the lawn has just been sown?

When watering a newly seeded lawn, the key is to keep the top 25mm (1 inch) of soil consistently moist but not saturated.

You will likely need to water the seeded area once or twice a day (again the early morning and evening periods are the preferred times).

Once the seeds start to germinate, maintain the watering and soil moisture in the upper lawn surface until the grass leaf reaches 25mm, at which point the watering process needs to be cut back to twice per week, which encourages the roots to grow deeper.

Proper watering is only one part of a proper lawn care routine. For a professional lawn care programme that is tailored to the needs of you and your lawn, give your nearest TruGreen business a call to receive your free 14-point lawn analysis today.

Written by Tom Page, Digital Content Writer