Everybody wants their lawn to look healthy, green, and fresh. However, there’s an art to getting there, which involves running tests and experimenting to see what works best for each lawn. If your grass looks too soggy or too parched, it’s time to understand how to address that issue.
So, if you’re interested in learning about the best time to water grass and how to maintain it, continue reading.
Have you read? The Best Garden Hose For Watering Grass
How Much Water Should You Use?
Water the grass until you’re sure that the top 6 to 8 inches of soil are wet. To illustrate, your grass needs a minimum of 1 to 1.5 inches of water to get deep into the ground, which you can achieve by dividing the amount and watering it one, two, or even three times a week.
How to Tell if You’ve Watered Enough
Check the Soil Thoroughly
You can find out how long it takes for water to soak into the soil by checking the lawn in intervals, such as every 10 minutes or more.
At the end of each interval, put a screwdriver in the soil, and mark how deep it’s soaked. Once 6 inches have been soaked, take note of the time because that’s the time it should take you to water your grass.
Run the Numbers
Each manufacturer lists the flow rate of its sprinkler system, measured in gallons per minute or GPM.
Now, measure the area of your lawn in square feet and multiply it by 0.62. The product is the number of gallons required to cover a square foot with 1 inch of water. Then, divide it by the sprinkler head flow rate. The result is the number of minutes you need to water lawn.
Use a Flow Timer (or Water Timer)
Get a flow timer, which calculates the water flow in a hundred gallons of water. It measures the amount of water to use. Measure the square footage of your lawn, then multiply it by 0.62 gallons, which will give you the number of water gallons you’ll need to ensure proper watering of the entire lawn.
Use the Can Measuring Trick
Get a bunch of empty cans and place them all over the lawn. Then, turn on the sprinkler system, and start your timer to measure the time needed to fill these cans with an inch of water.
Watering Different Types of Lawns
Newly seeded grass needs more moisture than an established lawn. In other words, grass needs daily watering or misting in its first year. Once the seeds germinate, you cut back on irrigation but soak the soil more to help the grassroots grow deeper.
On the one hand, warm season grass includes zoysia, centipede, and bermudagrass, which handles drought and grows deep roots. On the other hand, cool season grass includes perennial ryegrass, kentucky bluegrass, and fine and tall fescue. While the tall fescue can handle drought, other cool season grass types can’t, going dormant instead.
Quick Pro Tip: The soil type also affects how often you water the grass, as clay soil preserves moisture longer than sandy soil. So, you should take that into account.
Don’t Over Water Your Grass
Overwatering grass will do more harm than good, as excess moisture may result in diseases and infestations. Tone it down if the soil feels sponge-like underneath your feet or if there’s extra vegetation on the grass blade.
Quick Pro Tip: If you notice the damage of overwatering, adjust your watering schedule to be deep and less frequent watering.
Check for Patches of Dryness
Signs of dryness include discoloration, long-lasting footprints, and dry patches. Basically, dry grass looks like it’s devoid of the life it should bring to your backyard. Accordingly, adjust your watering schedule if the grass seems dry.
Different Types of Sprinklers to Use
As the name suggests, hose-end sprinklers act like hoses and benefit small to medium lawns the most.
Smart Watering Systems
Smart watering systems include features like scheduling on smartphones or getting real-time weather data to make the proper adjustments.
Pulsating Sprinklers (Water Guzzlers)
Pulsating sprinklers work at a very high velocity so that the wind doesn’t interfere with the watering.
In-ground sprinklers are low to the ground, which makes them the most efficient in getting water deep down into the soil to maintain your healthy lawn.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is Xeriscaping or Native Landscaping?
Xeriscaping or native landscaping refers to landscaping with the least amount of water possible. This practice originated as a result of multi-year droughts, and it helped landscapers adjust and adapt while still maintaining the aesthetic appeal of their grass. It’s ideal in places where fresh water and rainfall aren’t abundant, such as desert climates.
Is It Better to Water the Lawn at Night or Morning?
The best time to water grass is early in the morning because it gives the water time to soak deeply into the soil and nourish it, encouraging deep root systems. It’s better than a night and day irrigation system, as there’s little evaporation, but not as much as during the day.
How Long Should You Water Grass?
There are different methods to decide. You can check the moisture level in the soil with a screwdriver, empty cans, a lawn sprinkler flow rate, or a flow timer. However, the average timing to water grass is 60 minutes per week, which you can divide into two or three times to let the grass breathe in between.
At What Temperature Should You Stop Watering Grass?
Low temperature equals little to no watering. The general consensus about when to stop watering your grass is when the temperature reaches 40 degrees Fahrenheit. The reason is that grass needs less water when the temperature drops that much. Even more, watering grass when it’s that close to freezing can damage it.
How Can I Make My Grass Thicker?
There are many ways to make your grass look thicker and lusher. For example, you can try overseeding, adequately fertilizing the soil, aerating the soil, regularly managing weed, proper watering, reducing foot traffic, regular mowing, and so on. Ultimately, if you take care of the turf using such techniques, it’ll look its best.
Will Watering Dead Grass Bring It Back?
It depends on what you mean by dead. If the turf grass is completely dead, there’s no bringing it back to life. That being said, most of the time, it’s only dormant, which means that it’ll come back after three to four weeks of proper irrigation. It can be hard to tell apart a dead grass from a dormant one, but time will tell.
Is Watering the Lawn at Night Bad?
It’s not necessarily bad, but it’s the less ideal choice. Lawn watering at night causes the water to build up on the topsoil due to the lack of evaporation. Excess moisture leads to rot, lawn disease, and insect infestation, which is the last thing you need in the backyard.
In conclusion, watering your lawn isn’t rocket science, but many people don’t know when, how often, or how long to water their lawn. But, you don’t have to worry because understanding the basics and implementing them helps the grass look its best.
All you need is to water your grass with 1 to 1.5 inches of water per week and adjust the frequency according to the variables, including the grass type, soil, and location.
Also, check the lawn grass for signs of dryness or extra moisture to ensure that you’re watering it correctly. The key is to run tests and make adjustments according to your lawn’s condition.