If you want to keep your lawn looking green and healthy during dry periods, then it is very important to water your lawn. However, if you water incorrectly you run the risk of wasting a lot of money and possibly causing your lawn additional problems. So here is my quick guide explaining how to water your lawn correctly.
How do you know when to water your lawn?
The best time to water your lawn is just before the grass becomes too stressed. If it has turned brown, or has already turned into a straw-like consistency, then it is too late and the grass is dormant and will take some time to get back to growing leaves again. However, if your grass has not had any rain or water for a week or so, check to see if it has lost it’s “bounce”. If the plants seem limp, or do not return upright soon after stepping on them, then they could do with a good watering to bring back their vigour.
How should I water my lawn?
The best way to water your lawn is through the use of a lawn sprinkler attached to a hose. There are a great many types of sprinkler, and the best one for your lawn may not be the best one for your neighbour. If you have a small round lawn, then a spinning style sprinkler will be best to water the edges of your lawn effectively, however a rectangular lawn would be best watered using a rectangular-style sprinkler.
Watering using a watering can, or by just using a hand hose is only really viable with small areas of lawn, however this may be your only option if you are living in a area under a hosepipe ban.
It is best to water your lawn in the early morning. This means that the majority of the water applied is put to good use and a minimum is lost through evaporation. If you water during the evening, the grass will have a damp sward overnight, which will encourage fungal diseases attacking the grass.
How much should I water?
It is best to water your lawn using the “feast and famine” method. This involves watering your lawn very deeply and thoroughly on one day, and then leaving it until it becomes slightly stressed (usually three of four days), and then watering again thoroughly. This method encourages the grass to build a deep and healthy root system in its efforts to look for water without a lack of water becoming a problem.
If you water more regularly or just lightly and daily, the grass will either not get enough water, or will find too much water near the surface, in which case it will tend to grow shallow roots which will not be a good foundation in times of stress for the grass.
The amount you need to water does depend on the type of soil and grass which you have, but as a good guide for British lawns, leaving your sprinkler on one area for about ten minutes is generally sufficient.
After watering your lawn, it is a good idea to check to see how deeply the water has penetrated into the soil. To do this, simply try to see how deeply you can push a screwdriver or other similar object into the soil. If it becomes hard to push in before four inches into the soil, then your lawn should be watered a little more.
Other tips for lawn watering
- Try to avoid water running off your lawn, as this will waste it. If the lawn is too hard and run-off is unavoidable, then I recommend aerating your lawn before watering. This will help the water reach the roots.
- If you have a particular area of your lawn which struggles, then it can be watered by hand if this is easier. However, still try to water really well once every three to four days.
- When water just pools on your lawn and doesn’t really penetrate into the soil, then it may have become hydrophobic, in which case a water conserver treatment should be applied to help the water wet the soil more thoroughly.
- If you have recently overseeded your lawn, then you will need to keep the soil moist as much as possible until it has established.