Water is one of the most basic requirements grass needs to survive, which is probably why watering is such a popular topic among lawn owners. Watering your lawn would be simple if there were a set of rules for every situation, but there are too many variations of circumstance in lawn care.
Watering requirements depend on several factors: soil type, climate, temperatures, wind, humidity, rain frequency, grass type, and maintenance practices. In any case, the success of a lawn watering program is dependent upon you. Through the experience of observing and understanding the environment of your lawn, you will begin to answer many of the questions you may have about watering.
How often should I water my lawn?
The easiest answer to this question is - when it needs it. However, the amount of time you can go between watering is dependent on several things. The importance of deep watering is reflected in the fact that roots only grow where there is water. If you water only 1 or 2 inches below the soil, the roots won't travel any deeper. This will force you to water your lawn more often. Soil conditions also affect how often you water. For example, sandy soil requires more water than soil with rich loam. Different types of grasses have diverse water requirements furthermore influencing the required watering frequency. Research your grass type and determine its specific watering needs.
How much water does my lawn need?
To keep your grass roots growing deep, you need to water about 6 to 8 inches deep. This would require about 1 to 2 inches of water. If you receive any rainfall, then you can cut back on the supplemental irrigation you give the lawn. This amount of water should last the average lawn around 1 week. Don't water too often. While watering too much is not as common, it can still cause problems. The easiest way to check the volume of water your lawn receives is a simple rain gauge. However, if you have an automated system, it is really nice to have a sensor that detects rainfall through soil moisture or a rain gauge and shuts off your sprinkler's.
What time of day should I water my lawn?
Some hold the belief that watering in the afternoon will cause the sun to burn the grass blades, but this has been proven false. If you lay a magnifying glass flat on the ground, will it still burn an ant? Even though this isn't true, there are still disadvantages to watering in the afternoon. The sun will cause evaporation and decrease the amount of water that the soil receives. Wind can disrupt the watering paths of your sprinklers. Water consumption is generally higher in the afternoons so the water pressure will be lower for your sprinkler's. Even though proper lawn maintenance does more to prevent disease than changing watering times, a wet lawn at night can increase disease problems. All things considered, the ideal time to water is early in the morning. You will still save water and your lawn will have less moisture at night.