Proper hydration is essential for a healthy, attractive lawn. But watering your lawn can easily go wrong if you’re not sure how often and how much you should be watering your grass.
While most homeowners worry about under-watering their grass, it’s over-watering that you should really be concerned about. Over-watering is one of the leading causes of disease, fungal growth and soil compaction, all of which can result in unattractive, unhealthy grass.
With a little extra work and know-how, watering your lawn the right way is easy. By following the tips below, you can make sure your grass is properly irrigated year-round.
When & How Often to Water
Depending on where you live and the time of year, you may need to water your lawn much less than you think. For native grass types, local rainfall levels are often enough to keep grass hydrated and sustained month after month. In these cases, you may only need to water during hot, dry stretches of weather. If, however, your lawn is newly seeded, or if it is made up of a grass species that is not native to your area, you may need to water your lawn more regularly.
When planning your watering schedule, keep the following in mind:
- Water during the morning, between 4 AM and 9 AM. Avoid watering at midday, (when water evaporates too quickly) and late at night (which can lead to fungal growth).
- Water your grass three times per week (this includes rainfall).
How Much Water to Use
When watering your lawn, it’s important that you do not over-saturate your lawn’s soil. Healthy lawns need one inch of water per week.
Use these tools and tricks to nail down your lawn’s ideal water level:
- Watering three times per week means each session should deliver 1/3rd of an inch of water. To measure how much water your lawn is receiving, use a water-catching device (i.e. a can or plastic tub) with a 1/3rd inch mark on the side. Place the water-catcher in your grass during watering and stop when water reaches the mark.
- Use a timed sprinkler system or water gauge to more precisely control how much water enters your lawn’s soil.
Keep Your Lawn Healthy by Playing It Safe
Many people underestimate how resilient most species of grass are. Even in heavy drought, most grasses can go without watering for over a month. While this will result in brittle, yellow grass, your lawn’s health will rebound when it starts receiving water again. So if you’re ever unsure whether or not your lawn needs watering, don’t worry: it’s better to play it safe.