Watering is an absolutely essential part of maintaining a beautiful, lush lawn. It can also be a hot topic in Utah with frequent drought restrictions and laws surrounding watering. Improper watering can lead to water waste, fungi, and many other issues. Here is how to water your lawn like a pro.
Finding the Best Time to Water
The time of day you water your lawn has a bigger impact than you might think. If you water late at night, the water will sit on the lawn surface for longer. This creates a perfect environment for fungi and diseases to fester. Conversely, you don’t want to water in the heat of the afternoon as the water could evaporate too quickly and leave your grass parched.
The ideal time to water your grass is typically 4 am to 8 am. These early morning hours usually have less wind, the warming temperatures ensure your lawn won’t sit wet for an extended period of time, and it’s still cool enough the water won’t evaporate too quickly. If this timing doesn’t work for you, you can also water between 4 pm and 6 pm as the grass will still have ample time to dry before nightfall. Some cities have time frames one must water within, so please be aware of them.
Knowing How Much to Water
Most grass in Utah requires an inch of water per week, including rainfall. However, it can be difficult to know how much that is when using a sprinkler system. A simple way to measure rainfall is to take shallow cans, such as from tuna or cat food, and see how long it takes for them to reach one inch of water. Place several cans in various areas of your lawn to see if there are areas that receive more or less water than others.
Once you have an idea of how long it takes to give your lawn an inch of water, you can then figure out how long each watering session should last. In spring or fall, when the weather is cooler than 80 degrees, you can water twice per week. Once temperatures rise above 80, watering three times a week will keep your lawn looking beautiful. Using the information you got from how long it took to get an inch of water in your cans, determine how long each session needs to last to get one inch of water per week. This method of watering deeply, but less frequently, encourages deeper root growth. This helps your lawn stay healthier and more drought-resistant.
Determining if Your Lawn is Over or Under-Watered
So how do you know if your lawn is over or under-watered? There are some tell-tale signs you should be keeping an eye out for. Signs that your lawn is underwatered include:
- Yellowing, dry patches
- Soil is dry to the touch
- Your grass has slowed growth or stopped completely
- The lawn appears dull or grey-ish
Knowing if you’re overwatering your lawn might be trickier to identify. In fact, overwatering grass is one of the most common mistakes homeowners make. Click here to read about other common mistakes homeowners make in lawn care. Some signs you’re overwatering your grass include:
- The grass and soil feel mushy or spongy
- Standing water or puddles
- A foul smell from the soil
- An increase in fungi or moss
- Increase in lawn pests
If you start noticing these, decrease the amount you water and the frequency while your lawn recovers. Make sure you alter your watering schedule to avoid this issue in the future. It might take some trial and error before you find a good balance.
Be sure to always follow any local laws or regulations when it comes to watering your lawn. By watering at the optimal time of day, finding the appropriate length of time for each watering session, and keeping an eye out for signs your lawn is getting too much or too little water, your lawn is sure to be the envy of the neighborhood! If you have any questions or concerns about the health of your lawn, be sure to reach out to us here at Cedar Lawn Care and see how we can help.