A Comprehensive Guide to Watering Your Lawn
When you consider the chore of watering your lawn, there's usually not that much thought that gets put into it. You turn on the water, and you spray the lawn. Sounds simple enough.
However, there is a lot more to it than you might think. Watering your grass can be a tricky chore, similar to watering everyday house plants. If you water it too much, you kill it. If you don't water it enough, you kill it. Watering your yard in the wintertime might have nuances that watering in the summertime doesn't have. And when it comes to the actual task of watering the grass, should you do it by hand, or should you install sprinklers?
When Is the Best Time to Water Lawns?
In the summertime, you're going to need to water more frequently than in the wintertime. This is because the grass grows faster in the summer due to the warmer temperatures. The evaporation rate is also higher in the summer, which means that your lawn will dry out more quickly.
In the wintertime, you can get away with watering less frequently. The grass grows more slowly in the winter, so it doesn't need as much water. In addition, evaporation is lower in the winter, so your lawn will retain moisture for longer periods of time.
Regardless, when it comes to the time of day you should be watering, definitely target a time before 10:00 AM. But do you need to water every day? This is a common question, and the answer is no, you don't need to water every day. In fact, watering your grass every day can be detrimental to the health of your lawn.
When you water every day, the roots of the grass don't have a chance to grow deep into the soil. As you maintain your lawn, keep an eye on the color. A rich green color suggests a healthy lawn. If your lawn is brown and crunchy, it's clearly dry and requires good watering.
Something else you can do is walk across the lawn and see if you are leaving footprints. If you are, then you've got dry grass blades that need moisture. A healthy lawn should bounce right back after someone walks over it.
How Much Water Should You Use?
Trying to determine how much water you should use comes down to a few factors. If you're not going through a drought, it is best to reduce the amount of watering and water dry grass about twice a week.
Watering a couple of times per week means that your lawn is getting about six to eight inches of water every seven days, which is a good amount. Anything less than that could mean that the lawn could dry out and start to brown.
If your area of the world is going through a drought, then you should be watering your yard more frequently. The goal should be to water three times per week, but not for very long periods of time. A good rule of thumb is to give your lawn a healthy number of waterings per week, which translates to about 30 minutes three times per week. If you water for any longer than that, you could be promoting fungal growth, which would be significantly detrimental to your lawn's health.
You also want to avoid overwatering by keeping an eye on the soil. To test your lawn's saturation before you water, insert a finger into the soil and make sure it is dry all the way down before watering.
What Type of Sprinkler Should You Use?
Lawn irrigation is something to really consider when it comes to ensuring your lawn is getting enough water each week. There are two types of sprinklers that you can use to water: an impact sprinkler or a rotary sprinkler.
An impact sprinkler is a type of irrigation that is going to give you more water pressure, which means that the water is going to travel further. This can be good if you have a fairly large lawn, but it can also be bad because the water could end up overextending its reach and hitting your house or other buildings.
You'll likely want to use an impact sprinkler if you live in an area with high winds. The reason for this is that the water pressure is so strong that the wind won't be able to disperse the water droplets before they hit the ground, which means they will stay focused on your lawn.
A rotary sprinkler is going to give you less water pressure, but it will distribute the water more evenly. This is a good option if you have a smaller lawn and a contained area of grass. Rotary sprinklers are common because they are less likely to cause water waste.
Other Types of Sprinklers to Consider
When choosing a sprinkler to use, consider the size of the lawn, the topography of the land, and the potential for runoff. Set up the sprinklers so that they water close to the ground. Sprinklers with high arches or that are on a high point on the land tend to waste water and can make the water susceptible to evaporation. Make sure you do not place sprinklers in a part of your lawn that is susceptible to puddling.
It may be wise to purchase a number of sprinklers and place them in your yard in strategic positions so that the water is distributed evenly across the entire lawn's surface.
And when it comes to caring for your lawn, upgrade to using sprinklers that are outfitted with timers so that you know exactly when the watering is taking place and how much saturation your lawn is getting.
What if You Don't Have A Sprinkler?
If you don't have a sprinkler or lawn irrigation, you can still water by hand using a hose and a watering can. This method is going to be more time-consuming, but it will get the job done.
When watering by hand, make sure to focus on getting the roots of the grass wet. The roots are what absorb the water and send it up to the rest of the plant.
What Should You Do if You Believe You Have Overwatered?
If you believe that you have overwatered, the first thing you should do is check the soil. The best way to do this is to test the soil by inserting your finger into the ground. Check to see how far down the moisture has gone. If the soil is wet all the way down, then it's likely that you have overwatered.
If you have overwatered, the best thing to do is to stop watering for a few days and let the lawn dry out. Hopefully, you'll get some good sun and a warm front come through to help the extra moisture evaporate. Once the lawn has had a chance to dry out, you can resume watering but be sure to water less often.
What Should You Do if You Believe You Have Underwatered?
It's also important to make sure that you're not underwatering. Grass that has been watered too little will turn brown and the grass will start to die. If you believe that your lawn is being underwatered, the first thing you should do is check the sprinklers to make sure they are working properly.
If the sprinklers seem to be functioning properly, then it's possible that the soil isn't absorbing the water. This could be due to a number of reasons, but the most common is that the ground is too hard. To fix this, you can either aerate the lawn or use a different type of sprinkler head.
Aerating the lawn will help to loosen up the soil and allow the water to penetrate deeper. This is a good option if you have the time and resources to do it. If you don't have the time or resources to aerate the lawn, then you can try using a different type of sprinkler head. A diffuser head will help to break up the water so that it can penetrate the soil more easily.
How Do I Aerate My Lawn to Absorb Water Better?
If you want to aerate your lawn, the best time to do it is in the spring or fall. This is because the ground is softer and it will be easier to penetrate.
There are a few different ways that you can aerate your lawn. The most common is to use a hand-held tool or a machine that has spikes that penetrate the ground. You can also use a garden hose with a nozzle attachment that has spikes.
If you aerate your lawn, make sure to do it evenly across the entire surface. Aerating for too long in one spot can damage the grass. Also, be sure to remove any debris such as rocks or sticks before you start aerating.
What Should You Do if Your Area Is Experiencing A Drought?
We can't anticipate when a drought will come, but we can prepare. The best thing to do if your area is experiencing a drought and there are watering restrictions in your neighborhood is to make the best use of your allotted watering hours. You will need to water less frequently, but the water your grass gets will be all that much more important. You could also collect rain water to use when there is an absence of rain for a long period of time.
Getting water on the grass early in the morning is ideal because there will be less wind and the water won't evaporate as quickly. If you water at night, the water could sit on your lawn overnight and lead to fungal growth, which you absolutely want to avoid.
Can You Use Recycled Water to Water Your Yard?
If you have ever thought about using a cistern or any other contraption to capture rainwater and reuse it to water the grass, then you might want to think again. The reason for this is that you never know what kind of pollutants or bacteria could be in the water, which could potentially harm your lawn.
While being mindful of the impact that recycled water may have on the environment, it's always best to err on the side of caution and stick with using fresh water from the hose or sprinkler to water the yard to ensure that your grass remains healthy and lush.
Watering your grass is an important part of keeping it healthy, green, and vibrant. By following the tips in this guide, you can be sure that your lawn is getting the right amount of water.