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Watering Your Lawn: How Much, How Often and What Time?

 1. Introduction

As a homeowner, a lush green lawn not only symbolizes pride but also provides a great place to relax and play. However, maintaining the green lawn requires a lot of inputs. Contrastingly, this is a task that many homeowners fail to understand. Surely, how are you supposed to know the much, often and times of watering your lawn? Worry not! Here are the answers to these questions.



 2. How much water is enough?

The Man is Watering Lawn

Getting the right amount of water in your lawn can be quite daunting. However, through various scientifically proven techniques, it is possible to tell how much water is perfect for your turf. That said, when watering an established lawn, experts recommend that you water until the top 6 to 8 inches of soil is wet.


Note that most of the turf grass grow within these provisions. When doing this, be cautious not to overwater or underwater the lawn. There are associated consequences of both. Factually, most lawns require approximately 1 inch of water weekly to soak the up to 6 – 8 inches deep. This could be from rain or watering.


 3. How to tell if you’ve watered enough

Based on the dangers associated with over and under watering, it is imperative that you find the right measures. But how? Outlined below are some of the ways of telling if you have watered enough.

  • Check the soil –To check the time taken to soak the soil, check every 15 minutes of your first watering. You can use a screwdriver or shovel to check water depth. Mark the time it took for the soil to be soaked to at least 6 inches. You’ll use this value for future reference when watering the lawn.
  • Do some math – this is perhaps the easiest approach when using a sprinkler system. Sprinklers often come with their flow rate (in gallons per minute) indicated. 1 inch of water per square foot translates to 0.62 gallons. Therefore, multiply the square footage of your lawn by this figure to get the required time.
  • Measure using cans – this is yet another effective method for sprinkler systems. The procedure is quite simple. Distribute empty tuna cans in your lawn and measure how long the cans take to collect 1 inch of water. Note that the sprinkler coverage pattern may vary throughout the turf. Therefore, use the average as your figure.
  • Use a flow/water timer – a timer typically measures water flow in hundreds of gallons. Simply by doing some math, you will be able to identify the time taken to effectively water your lawn.


 4. How often should I water my lawn?

Sprinkler System

Sprinkler System

Having settled on the amount of time you are required to water your lawn, the frequency is the next begging question. Answering this question requires a careful analysis of various aspects. Note that many conditions and elements play some role in efficient lawn irrigation. All contribute to developing a good turf watering schedule. The elements include:

  • Rate of water penetration

The type of soil present in your lawn influences how fast water will penetrate and percolate through the soil. For instance, clay soil, which is tight, leaves little room for air. Therefore, water slowly penetrates or seeps through the soil. On the flipside, sandy soil, which is open, drain water quickly.

From this, it is imminent that sandy soil loses a lot of water thus requires frequent watering. Conduct a soil test to determine the type of soil in your lawn. Additionally, water pressure plays a role in proper water penetration.

  • Rate of water penetration

The type of soil present in your lawn influences how fast water will penetrate and percolate through the soil. For instance, clay soil, which is tight, leaves little room for air. Therefore, water slowly penetrates or seeps through the soil. On the flipside, sandy soil, which is open, drain water quickly.

From this, it is imminent that sandy soil loses a lot of water thus requires frequent watering. Conduct a soil test to determine the type of soil in your lawn. Additionally, water pressure plays a role in proper water penetration.

  • Rate and speed of water loss

Water held by turf can be lost through evaporation or transpiration – through leaf surfaces. Averagely, soil loses 1 – 2 inches of water per week. This should be replaced through irrigation. This is hastened by sun exposure. Depending on your lawn’s exposure to sun and other evaporative factors, determine how often you water the lawn.

  • Grass type

Lawns have different grass types. For instance, a healthy lawn with tall fescue grass with deep root system are drought resistant. Kentucky bluegrass is dormant during droughts. Warm season grasses, on the other hand, can withstand drought and require 20% less water than cool season grasses.

  • Lawn age

Lawns have different grass types. For instance, a healthy lawn with tall fescue grass with deep root system are drought resistant. Kentucky bluegrass is dormant during droughts. Warm season grasses, on the other hand, can withstand drought and require 20% less water than cool season grasses.

With the statements outlined above, getting the right answer for how often you should water your lawn is impossible. The perfect answer is – when your lawn needs it.



 5. What time?

Clock on grass

When you watering your lawn

With the frequency and amount of water needed identified; what time is the best watering time? a.m. is certainly the perfect time of watering your lawn. This is because air is cooler and there isn’t much wind to blow the water droplets. When it comes to midday, sun evaporates water quickly before they are absorbed.


At the evenings, water can cling to grass blades which may lead to law diseases. Water accumulation in the evening provides a conducive environment for fungus growth. Watering at night is, therefore, a worst-case scenario.


A.m. watering can be made easy by the availability of smart/WIFI sprinkler controller system. With this system, all you need to do is set the times you want your lawn watered and leave the rest for the system.



6. Conclusion

sprinkler system

Sprinkler System

How much water, how often, and what time are the three mind-boggling questions for any lawn owner. Answering them is through some analysis of your lawn. Well, some of the key points to note during lawn care include:

  • Your lawn needs 1” – 1 ½ “of water weekly, year-round.
  • You should water deeply twice or thrice rather than daily. 
  • If you are finding it difficult to push a 6” screwdriver into your lawn, your lawn isn’t watered enough. 
  • Replace manual sprinklers systems with smart/WIFI sprinkler controllers to ease watering schedule. 
  • Water your lawn early in the morning as possible.

Hannah Ross
 

My name is Hannah. I have one handsome son and I love him so much. Gardening is my greatest hobby. I always want to turn the garden behind my house into a relaxing place.

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