Watering Tips for a Healthy Lawn
Proper watering practices can help reduce the number of weeds in your lawn.
How Much Should I Water My Lawn?
There is no one-size-fits-all formula for watering your lawn. Factors to consider before watering your lawn include:
- Newly seeded or sodded
- Variety of grass
- Amount of daytime shade
- Root depth
- Soil quality, structure and pH
Watering Guidelines for new seed/sod/hydroseeding:
- Be sure to water frequently (2-4 times a day, depending on air temperature and rain)
- Water a minimum of 2 times a day when temperatures exceed 85 degrees.
- Water in the middle of the day for NEW growth. This is the most stressful time of day for seedlings.
- It is almost impossible to over-water new seeding or sod.
Watering guidelines for an established lawn:
As a rule of thumb, your lawn needs 1″-1 1/2″ of water per week. The following rules will help you determine whether to water:
- When temperatures exceed 85 degrees, watering is highly recommended and should be increased to avoid dormancy and browning of turf.
- In general, it is more beneficial to water less often and more deeply. This helps promote deep root growth, which, in turn, allows your grass to go longer between watering.
- Shady areas need less water than sunny areas. Likewise, low areas require less water than hills.
- Under watering leads to dormancy. It can take a week of watering to have a dormant lawn green up again.
- Water in the morning, rather than in the evening or mid-day. This allows more water to penetrate the soil, increasing your watering efficiency, and can help prevent fungal disease.
- Sprinkler systems are wonderful. Unattended sprinkler systems frequently wastewater and lead to an unhealthy lawn.
- Over watering leads to shallow roots, increased thatch, and an environment that promotes fungal disease and weed growth.
- Know your soil. Clay soils need less water than sandy soils; conversely, sandy soils require more frequent watering than clay soils.
A soil and site evaluation is the optimal way to determine how much water your landscape needs. Different areas of your landscape need different moisture levels based on all of these factors. You can have your soil tested through the U of M Soil Testing Lab to determine the soil types within your landscape. Note that it can vary throughout your yard!
For Additional Information on best watering practices for your lawn: