10 Ways on How to Water Your Lawn Better: Smart and Effective Lawn Watering Tips
Proper watering is the single most important thing you can do to keep your lawn in tip-top shape. And even though lawn watering is pretty simple, there are tricks and tips that can help you save time and money. Here are 10 of our best tips on how to water your lawn better.
Water in the Fall
Your lawn still needs water in autumn, even though the leaves are changing, the growing season is winding down and your grass isn’t growing fast. Fall watering helps your lawn recover from summer stress and gain strength for the winter ahead. Also, if you fertilize in the fall, watering is necessary for the fertilizer to dissolve and soak into the ground where it’s needed. So don’t put your hoses or sprinklers away until the ground starts to freeze.
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Water Grass Seed Carefully
Seeds covered with fabric or mulch or mixed with a mulch-like product stand a better chance. But even with this protection, you should water lightly at least once or twice a day during hot or windy days. Sprinkle the seeds with a light mist until they sprout. A hard spray or big droplets of water will wash the seeds away or make them clump together. After the seeds sprout, keep watering once a day until the grass is ready for its first mowing.
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Run All Sprinklers at Once When Using Well Water
Choose the Best Sprinkler for the Location
Check Soil Moisture to Determine Watering Time
After an extended warm, dry period (dry soil is the key) set up your sprinkler and set a timer for 30 minutes. Then turn off the water and check the soil for moisture depth. Do this by pushing a shovel into the lawn and tipping it forward to expose the soil. See how deep the water has penetrated. Moist soil will be darker. Your goal is to run the sprinkler until the water penetrates 3 to 4 in. into the soil.
If the water has not penetrated far enough, restart the watering and continue to keep track of the time. Check again in another 15 minutes. With trial and error, you’ll eventually arrive at the optimal length of time to water for your soil type and water pressure.
Add a Remote Hose Connection for Easier Watering
If you’re constantly dragging long lengths of hose from the house to the far corners of your yard, consider adding a remote faucet instead. Depending on how much time and expense you want to put into it, this can be as simple as a length of garden hose connected to a fence with pipe straps, as shown here, or an underground pipe complete with a vacuum breaker at the house. (Learn more about how to install an outdoor faucet here. Either way, you’ll save a ton of time and effort by not having to deal with long hoses.
Install an Inexpensive Irrigation System
Programmable timers allow you to choose the time of day and duration that the connected sprinkler will run. Read product descriptions and online reviews carefully to determine which timer is right for your situation, since different models have different functions and abilities.
Lawn Watering Wisdom
- Adjust your watering to the conditions. Different areas of your lawn will have different watering requirements. The key is to make note of this as you water so you can tailor your watering. For example, south-facing hills may require more water; areas under trees, less.
- Keep watering in a drought. Don’t believe the common wisdom that grass goes dormant in a drought. If you don’t provide your grass some moisture in a drought, it will die.
- Water in the morning if possible. The grass can benefit from the water all day long. Plus, watering in the evening may encourage the growth of harmful fungi.