Lawn Watering Tips

Proper watering techniques can prevent a host of problems. We wanted to pass along some helpful lawn watering tips so you know when to water your lawn and how much to water. We will also cover some valuable sprinkler tips so you can prevent water waste and improve the health of your lawn.

Over-watering or leaving your sprinkler on all night leaves your lawn open to disease, mold and mildew problems. Too much water is bad.

Forgetting to water at all leaves your lawn susceptible to drought conditions that cause stress and damage the plants. Not enough water can be worse.

When Not To Water
You don’t want to water your lawn at the slightest sign of dryness. A lack of water causes plants to send their roots deeper. Lawns with deep root systems are hardier in drought periods and more resistant to disease, pests, and weeds.

Keep an eye on the weather. It should be obvious that you don’t need to water after a rain. It’s unusual to need to water your lawn in spring because of the extra rainfall that usually accompanies that season. If only the very top layer is dry, you can hold off on watering for a day or two in warmer weather.

How To Tell Your Lawn Needs Water
If your lawn has constant moisture it won’t grow deep roots, and you want deep roots. However, most of the time in Canada during the hot summer months your lawn will require additional water or it will turn brown and go dormant until it rains. To know when to water, watch the grass. If you leave foot imprints in the grass when you walk on it, this is the first sign of wilting and an indication that your lawn needs water.

How Much Water Does Your Lawn Need?
You want to make sure the lawn gets a good soaking. Just wetting the surface layer of greass and soil will be less effective than letting the water soak down deep to the root system. Plants absorb water most efficiently through their roots, so get the water where it’s most needed.

You can leave out an empty tuna or cat food can to measure how much water your lawn’s received. You can grab a trowel and dig down a few inches and see how far into the soil the moisture reaches. You want a good 6 – 8 inches of moisture to encourage deep roots and prevent disease and wilting.

Sprinkler Tips

  • Make sure that sprinklers are not watering driveways, sidewalks, or other pavement.
  • Avoid watering late at night as that leaves plants more susceptible to mildew and fungus.
  • Watering at the hottest time of the day is inefficient as a lot of water is lost to evaporation.
  • Deep and infrequent watering maintains a healthy root system and reduces weed infestation. Frequent shallow watering promotes seed germination and weed growth.
  • Apply fertilizer in late summer or early fall to favour root growth and drought tolerance. Adding fertilizer in spring promotes quick growth which requires more water.
  • Aerating your lawn allows the water to penetrate lawns deeper and more efficiently.
  • If overseeding or planting new seed, water more frequently to allow seeds to germinate and take root.
  • Longer grass blades increase the depth of the root system, shade the soil, and help drought tolerance.