Watering Your Lawn

Watering Your Lawn Unfortunately, excessive watering of a lawn is not good for the grass; in addition, the lawn makes a nice filter for things absorbed that could be washed into the rivers and streams. The best lawn is one that could be grown without much additional watering then what the environment provides. In other words, whatever water nature provides should be enough for the lawn without the homeowner standing outside every night with a garden hose watering down the lawn, they probably have better things to do and it wastes money.

In order to maintain a lush emerald colored grass and active growth, turf grass should be watered approximately ¾ inch to one inch each week only. There are, however, several times during the summer months in which high temperatures are typical and a homeowner could allow the grass to slow down its natural growing process during these times. A lawn could go dormant in which it barely grows during extreme conditions.

Before the summer months are upon us, decide if the lawn is going to be watered on a regular basis or allowed to go dormant for the season. It is dangerous to allow the grass to go brown and then water it enough for it to turn green again and then repeat the cycle. Grass is a plant and doing this starving and then feeding the grass could deplete huge amounts of reserved food the grass has stored.

In order to increase root growth, allow a lawn to begin to show signs of stress from drought conditions. As grass goes under drought stress it will begin to turn darker and footprints left in the lawn will remain in the lawn instead of disappearing as in a healthy, well fed lawn.  Another choice to check for drought stress would be to look at the root soil for any signs of dryness and weakness.

So that water soaks down to the roots, water completely if and when watering. Newly seeded lawns – where the surface needs to stay moist all the time; freshly sodded grass that do not have roots in the soil and if summer patch disease is a problem are the exceptions to the watering rule.

The best time to water a lawn is early in the day. A lawn is typically wet already from morning dew which helps with water consumption. If at all possible, try to steer clear of midday watering because of the evaporation factor. Night time watering is also bad for the lawn because it may be easier for a lawn disease to ‘put down roots’ in the lawn. When the temperature reaches extreme highs during the day and the evening temperature is not going to dip below 20 degrees Celsius, go ahead and water in the late afternoon or evening. Check with your local water company or city municipality to see if there are any water restrictions placed on lawn watering before beginning to water the lawn. By avoiding the high temperatures which could cause the water to evaporate, more of the natural clear liquid needed to grow a lawn reaches the roots.