Watering

How to Water Your Yard

Establishing and maintaining a healthy, green lawn involves many factors. One factor is appropriate lawn watering. A good rule of thumb is to ensure that your lawn gets 1 inch of water every week while it’s growing. Poor irrigation can allow weeds to take root when your yard begins to thin out. The general do’s and don’ts pertaining to how much and when you water will help you achieve lush, strong grass.

Do’s and Don’ts

These do’s and don’ts provide general guidelines for watering lawns with fully established grass.

Do’s

  • Water your lawn in the morning. During the morning, less water is lost to evaporation and, because wind is usually calmer in the morning than other times of day, more water falls where you desire it to fall.
  • Stress your lawn. You do not want to parch your lawn, but you want to come close to drought conditions. When your grass thirsts for water, it develops a stronger, longer root system in the hopes of finding water deeper in the ground. A stronger root system results in stronger grass above the ground.
  • Dilute pet urine. Prevent or treat brown spots caused by pet urine by increasing the amount of water to a pet’s favored areas. Hand watering dilutes the urine enough for grass to recover.
  • Distribute the water evenly. Keep knowledge of your lawn’s slope and depressed areas in mind, and move your water source accordingly. This prevents patches that result from inconsistent saturation.
  • Know when the lawn needs water. On average, lawns require about 1.5 inches of water each week. An empty coffee container lets you keep track of how much water the ground receives during each watering. Alternatively, look for footprints in the grass; if footprints leave an impression, the lawn needs water.
  • If you are using an underground sprinkler system, ideally you should run each zone for approximately 45 minutes to an hour during the heat of the summer.

Don’ts

  • Avoid midday and evening watering. During midday, more water evaporates than saturates the soil, and evening sessions leave the grass susceptible to fungal diseases.
  • Avoid watering too frequently. Lawn that receives water too often does not develop a strong root system and does promote weed growth.
  • Avoid excessive watering. Although burning your lawn with midday watering is only a myth, your lawn will cook in puddles left by excessive water.