Watering the lawn is one of the simpler home maintenance tasks, but it’s still important to get right. Watering your yard the most effective way can help you keep your lawn looking great, minimize your utility bill and protect the environment. Here are some tips to keep in mind the next time you turn on your sprinklers.
Water early. Watering your lawn in the early morning is ideal. During this time, temperatures are cooler, winds are calmer and there is less direct sun. This means more water will be absorbed by your yard rather than lost to evaporation. Avoid watering at night as the moisture can linger and promote fungus.
Water evenly. It’s often best to ensure that your entire lawn gets a similar amount of water. You can test your sprinkler setup by placing some small containers around your yard. After you’re done watering, check how much water each container received, and make adjustments as needed. You can also use this method to ensure you are not over- or under-watering your lawn. Most lawns require about one inch of water per week.
Water slowly. Don’t water your lawn with more than it can absorb. If you drench your lawn too quickly, the excess water may run off, wasting resources and possibly even causing environmental harm. To give the water more time to absorb, try cycling each of your sprinklers on one at a time twice for 15 minutes each. An automatic sprinkler system or a faucet timer (starting at $10 each) can make this routine easy to set up.
Water periodically. Unlike like landscape plants, it’s better to give your lawn a good soak every few days rather than to water it a bit each day. Less frequent watering encourages roots to grow downward in search of water, which will make for a hardier lawn.
Water as needed. There are many ways to tell if your lawn needs water. If your footprints don’t readily disappear when walking on your grass, that’s one sign the grass is too dry. Grass that is blueish-green in color or has curling blades also likely needs water. If it’s difficult to push the head of a screwdriver into your lawn, then it’s time to fire up the sprinklers.
With some regular attention and good practices, you can maintain a healthy and attractive lawn to enjoy all season long.