Are you wondering what is the best time to water grass? Do you know when and how to water your lawn? Have you any idea about the side effects of overwatering and underwatering for your lawn? If no, you are perfectly at the right post.
In this article, we are going to cover the best time to water the lawn. Moreover, we’ll discuss how too little and too much watering can affect your lawn. Plus, you’ll learn the best lawn watering tips.
What is the best time to water a lawn? The best time to water your lawn is from the early morning before 10 a.m. Don’t water your lawn at midday. Evening time after 3 to 4 p.m is another option for lawn watering. However, avoid watering at night as it encourages fungal growth.
Water is crucial for maintaining a happy and healthy lawn. Proper watering is as essential as sunlight and soil for growing a lush green lawn. As you feel dull and bored if your family ignores you, similarly, your lawn will look dull and lifeless if you don’t follow the specific watering schedule.
So, join us in the journey to a well-maintained and beautiful lawn.
Is It Better To Water Lawn In the Morning or Evening?
Do you know what is the best time of the day to water your lawn? Is it better to water your lawn in the morning or evening? Just focus here to know the answer. Early in the morning(4 a.m to 10 a.m) before the temperature starts to rise is the best time for lawn watering.
If watering in the early morning is not possible, the other option is late afternoon( around 3 p.m to 4 p.m). Ensure to give enough time to the grass blades to dry. Also, avoid watering too late in the evening because if the grass stays wet overnight, it will be susceptible to fungal growth.
In cooler morning temperatures, the evaporation rate of water is low and the wind is calm. So, the water soaks well in the soil and the grassroots absorb maximum water at that time of the day. Moreover, if you water your lawn early in the morning, you’ll also save your water bill.
Also, avoid lawn watering at peak temperatures. The water evaporates too quickly at a high temperature before getting absorbed by the roots.
Best Lawn Watering Tips
The maintenance of a green and lush lawn demands specific care. Indeed, it’s a time-consuming task. Most homeowners and lawn beginners don’t know common watering mistakes that they usually make. If your lawn takes a greyish cast or dull green appearance, it means that your lawn is not getting enough water.
So, read on and learn about the mistakes that you make. Plus, follow the below-mentioned tips to keep your lawn drought tolerant and well-hydrated.
Tip 1 Watering needs based on the type of grass
The frequency of water that your lawn may need depends on the type of grass, the location of your lawn, summer weather conditions, and rainfall in your specific area. The water requirement of grass increases in high temperature, drought, high winds, and low humid conditions.
Besides, soil quality also determines how long you need to water. The sandy soil drains quickly, therefore, require water more often. The clay soil can hold the moisture for longer, that’s why it needs less frequent irrigation.
Watering Needs Of Cool Season Grasses: Generally, cool-season grasses need more water as compared to warm-season grasses. Among these grasses, tall fescue has the highest drought tolerance. Moreover, it has a deep root system. But it can also thin out if not getting enough water. By watering regularly, the water will soak only the top inch of soil. It may cause the roots to grow closer to the top. That’s why water your tall fescue turf 1 inch per week for 30 minutes.
Most lawns have a mixture of Kentucky Bluegrass, fine fescue, and perennial ryegrass. Such lawns have low drought tolerance and they go dormant if not getting enough water. But they can revive back after the rainfall. In normal weather, 1 inch of water per week for 30 minutes is enough. However, the lawn located in the transition zones may require 2 inches of water per week during the warmer weather.
Watering needs Of Warm Season Grasses: The warm-season grasses include St. Augustine, Zoysia, Bermuda, and centipede grasses. These grasses have deep root systems. The irrigation requirements of these grasses depend on the depth of the root system. The deeply rooted turf has more drought resistance as compared to shallow-rooted grass.
The watering needs of warm-season grasses depend on the soil type, root zones, and climatic conditions. For example, bermudagrass growing in shallow root zones may need 0.5 inches of water at the intervals of 2 to 3 days. Similarly, the Bermuda grass growing in sandy soil will require 1 inch of water at intervals of 5 to 7 days.
Tip 2 Infrequent and Deep Watering
Most lawn beginners think that it is good to water your lawn every day. Don’t be over-smart guys. Such thinking can damage the turf in your yard. It is better to water your lawn deeply and infrequently rather than frequent surface watering.
The infrequent and deep irrigation encourages deep root growth. The root system can become shallow and dry out fast as a result of daily watering. Conversely, less frequent watering will cause yellowing of grass and unattractive lawn.
The average depth of the grass root system is about 6 inches. For this, you need 1 -1 ½ inches of water in 7 to 10 days intervals to soak the lawn that deeply. You can also apply that amount of water in single watering or divide it into two waterings per week. Therefore, the key to maintaining a healthy and hydrated lawn is to supply the right amount of water at the right time in the right way.
Tip 3 Watering Different Types Of Lawns
The watering needs of a well-established lawn differ from that of a newly seeded, sodded, or plugged lawn.
Watering needs mature grass: You should aim to soak the soil 1 to 1½ inches in 7 to 10 days for an established lawn. Pulsating sprinklers are best for mature grass.
Watering needs of newly seeded lawn: During the first year of lawn establishment, you should provide additional irrigation and don’t rely on rainfall. A newly seeded lawn requires consistent moisture to soak the top inch of soil. But again, avoid overwatering to make the soil soggy. On average, you’ll need to mist the newly seeded lawn one to two times a day. But in hot and dry weather, you should increase the frequency of watering.
After the seeds germinate, keep the 2 inches of topsoil hydrated until the grass reaches the height of 3 inches. After that, switch to your regular watering schedule and soak the soil 6 to 8 inches every week. Plus, oscillating sprinklers are ideal to use on a new lawn as they are gentle and prevent soil erosion.
Watering needs of a newly sodded lawn: A newly sodded lawn normally requires 15 minutes of water daily for the first two weeks. In hot weather, water 15 minutes twice daily. Oscillating sprinklers work great for a newly sodded lawn. Besides, you should walk along the joints of sods to increase the connection between roots and soil.
Tip 4 Test to Determine How Long to Water your Lawn
Once you have learned how to identify the watering needs of different types of grass, next, you have to know if your lawn is getting enough water or not. To know this, perform the below-mentioned test to determine exactly how long to water your lawn. Also, you’ll learn if your lawn is watered enough or not.
Screwdriver test: Afterwatering your lawn for 15 minutes, insert a long-blade screwdriver into the lawn. If it easily penetrates the soil about 6 inches, it means 15 to 20 minutes of watering is enough to soak the 6 inches of soil. If it doesn’t insert easily, it means that your grass is dry and you are not watering enough.
You can also perform this test by using a shovel. Lift the sod and dig the top 6 inches of soil. If you dig easily and the soil under the sod is moist, it shows that you’re watering enough. Otherwise, change your watering schedule if the soil is dry.
Use cans or bucket to measure water: Simply, place empty tuna cans or a plastic bucket in different areas of your lawn. Set the timer and measure how long it takes to fill 1 and 1 ½ inches of water in the cans. Though, the coverage pattern of sprinklers may be different for different areas of your lawn, so, measure the average timing taken by the cans to fill.
After you know the timing that your lawn takes to soak 1 and 1 ½ inches of soil, set the timers of your sprinklers accordingly.
Calculate the rate_flow of the new sprinkler: Calculate the flow-rate of your new sprinkler to know exactly how much water it sprays on your lawn. For measuring, do some maths.
- You will know the value of your sprinkler flow rate from the manufacturer.
- 0.62 gallons is the amount needed to reach water to one square foot of your lawn.
- Multiply the square footage of your lawn by 0.62 gallons.
- Then divide it by your sprinkler’s flow rate.
- The result will determine how long to water your lawn.
Use a timer that measures flow rate: The timers that measure the flow rate give you an exact idea of how much water your lawn requires to stay healthy. Select the timers that measure the flow rate in hundreds of gallons.
You’ll determine the number of gallons that your lawn need by multiplying the square footage of your lawn to 0.62 gallons( It is the amount needed to water 1square foot of your lawn). Besides, the use of automatic water sprinklers will make you free from the worry of turning off the sprinklers on time.
If you notice that your lawn is not absorbing water quickly, you should not try to water all at once. Water for 10 to 15 minutes and let it absorb in the soil. Then stop for 10 to 15 minutes and again turn on the sprinkler for 10 to 15 minutes unless the required watering timing completes.
Best Time Water Lawn In The Hot Weather
The early morning from 5 a.m to 10 a.m is the best time to water the lawn in hot weather. The water evaporation is low at that time and it allows the roots to absorb maximum water before the temperature rises. The evening time is also an option if watering in the early morning is not convenient.
But avoid watering at midday and night time. Irrigation in the high temperature will cause the land to dry more quickly that eventually cause grayish grass. On the other hand, watering at night causes moisture retention that will provide a perfect medium for fungus to grow.
You might be wondering if the water requirements of the lawn in the summer and winter are the same. But they are not. Normally, grass needs more water in hot and dry weather. However, it greatly depends on the soil type, and type of grass planted on your lawn. Some turf types are drought tolerant. They can go dormant if not watered for 4 weeks and then revive back after the rainfall.
Best Time To Water Lawn In The Fall
Early in the morning is the best time to water your lawn in the fall. Make sure to water your lawn before midday.
Some cool-season grasses have the least drought tolerance. These grasses may need water twice a weak for 15 to 20 minutes in the dry season. If you live in a wet environment with weekly rainfall, you’ll not need to water your lawn since it shows the signs of stress. Overwatering may lead to disease prevalence.
During fall and winter, the rain and snow are enough to meet the water requirement of your turfgrass. If there is no rain or snow, watering twice a week for 15 to 20 minutes is sufficient to fulfill the needs of the grass.
Hopefully, you understand well our comprehensive guide on lawn watering. You can maintain a vibrant, vigorous, green, and healthy lawn by following are mentioned tips.
Keep in mind that different climates vary in weather conditions and soil types. Therefore, recognize the specific needs of your turf type and area.
Watering the right amount at right time in the right way will surely help to flourish your lawn.