Have you ever driven past a house in the pouring rain and seen the sprinklers also running? How you water your lawn is one of the most important factors in successful lawn management. How much and when are the questions I receive daily. In regard to established lawns, the rule of thumb is more water at each watering but less frequently. A common mistake is more frequent watering sessions with less water, or watering late in the evening.
Here are the best practices for watering your lawn:
- Water in the morning hours. Why? Wet grass all night long breeds diseases such as fungus and mold.
- Water twice a week for around 20-30 minutes so that the water can reach deeper into the soil where the roots can absorb it. Your inclination to water daily or frequently also encourages other problems.
- Watch the weather – if it is a rainy week, pull back on your twice weekly routine or sprinkler schedule.
- Look for brown spots. Your sprinklers could be missing areas, you could be in a severe drought needing extra water, or grass that is close to sidewalks or other heat conductors might be getting burned. Adjust sprinklers for good coverage and make sure they are operating correctly. Water the brown, stressed areas separately on top of the regular schedule to see if additional water helps green up the area(s). If not, consider a pest or disease issue.
My favorite tip – take your shoes off and walk barefoot throughout the lawn. If the grass is crispy, water deeper (not more frequently). If you feel standing water or wet/soggy areas, pull back until you reach a happy balance.