How Long Should You Water Your Yard?
Aside from proper fertilization, watering is the most important thing you can do to keep your turf happy and healthy. Just like your landscaping, flowers and trees, your yard is a living, breathing organism. It needs sunshine and water to be at its peak, optimal health. When grass is not receiving everything it needs, it shows. The lawn experts at Fit Turf have put together this guide to help you understand the ins and outs of watering, so you can enjoy a happy, healthy and lush yard.
Watering is Tricky
Watering can be tricky, though: Too much water can be just as harmful as not enough water. Turning on those sprinklers every day can make your lawn susceptible to certain diseases and can quickly create excessive thatch. Also, the time of day that you water your lawn matters.
Are You Watering Enough?
So, are you watering enough? To answer this question, use a screwdriver with at least a 6-inch shaft. It should be easy to insert the screwdriver into an adequately watered lawn: If your lawn is too dry, the screwdriver will be met with resistance. Too wet, you will likely be met with mud.
Special Watering Circumstances
Before you determine when and how much to water your yard, there are some special circumstances that may affect this determination. Ask yourself:
- Do you have newly seeded or fresh sod?
- Do you have a mature lawn?
- Is your yard shaded?
- Is your yard exposed to full sun?
All of these factors are important to ascertain before you set the timers on your sprinkler systems or turn those spickets on. These factors require a little extra-special touch and consideration. A newly seeded or a freshly sodded lawn is going to require specific watering schedules to establish healthy root systems. Also, shaded lawns will not demand the same watering needs as are lawns that are baking in full, direct sun many hours throughout the day.
Watering Your Yard
In general, your lawn needs at least 1 inch to 1.5 inches of water per week. This can be achieved either by watering with irrigation — like with hose-end sprinklers and in-ground sprinkler systems — or via Mother Nature. Note that if you have an in-ground sprinkler system, it’s important to check your sprinkler heads often. Low-angle, low-volume heads are the best lawn sprinkler choices — they deliver the water as close to the grass as possible to minimize evaporation. When watering your yard, take care not to water your neighbor’s sidewalk, streets or driveways.
Best Sprinkler Practices
If you have an in-ground automatic sprinkler system, it’s important to check its setting throughout the summer and winter seasons. Different times of the year demand different settings. Perform regular checks to ensure that the sprinklers are in working order.
Lawn Watering Frequency
So, how often do you need to turn on the water to get to the recommended 1 to 1.5 inches? Well, if you are lucky, rainfall will take care of it for you. Invest in an easy-to-read rain gauge to determine how much rainfall your area receives. It’s better to water deeply two to three times per week. This encourages deep root growth and will result in a healthier lawn overall. Watering daily, as mentioned before, can cause shallow root systems and will result in a weaker lawn.
How Long to Water
How long you water really depends on what kind of sprinkler system you have, what your water pressure is like and what kind of weather conditions you are experiencing. Hot, dry conditions require more water to avoid any drought stress. Certain types of grasses, such as Kentucky bluegrass, require more water.
As a general rule of thumb, it’s good to water about 30 minutes two to three times per week — but you can use your rain gauge to determine how much water your turf is receiving. Still unsure? Contact Fit Turf: We’re here to help you determine the very best care for your specific yard needs. Our lawn gurus can provide you with recommendations specific to your lawn.
Best Time to Water
Watering early in the morning is ideal. The cooler temperatures and the less intense sunlight will ensure a good soaking. Early-morning watering minimizes evaporation and waste as well. Maybe you’ve heard that watering at dusk is best? Not so: Consistently watering your yard in the evenings can lead to fungus problems and diseases.
Still Have Damaged Areas?
Your yard needs regular drinks of water and adequate soakings to reach its peak potential. However, if you are watering regularly and you still notice brown spots or damaged-looking areas, call Fit Turf. You may have a lawn fungus, a pest problem or another issue that needs an intervention. Fit Turf offers pest control and prevention services, including perimeter pest control, winter mite control, grub prevention and more.
In addition to proper watering, getting your lawn on a regular maintenance program will help it look its very best. We can help! Our goal is to help you achieve a gorgeous lawn throughout the year.
Following these tips will go a long way toward a beautiful yard that you can be proud of. Still have questions? Contact us at Fit Turf for a free evaluation and individualized recommendations.