Why is lawn watering important?
Lawns are living plants that require sufficient water in order to survive and thrive. Correct lawn watering not only keeps the lawn looking green and prevents dry patches, but it also helps protect from disease, moss, weeds, weed grasses and shallow rooting.
How to tell if your lawn needs watered
An easy way to check the level of moisture in the ground is to push a screwdriver or a knife into the soil, if it is difficult to push down and comes back out dirty then the ground needs watered.
If the grass starts to get stressed from lack of water, it will start to turn colour and loose its springy texture.
How much water should I give my lawn?
Water needs to reach into the soil and beyond the grass root zone. Always try to think ahead and water the lawn before it dries out too much, it is easier to get water into moist soil than soil that is into soil that is dry and baked hard.
Use a sprinkler to water the lawn, moving it around different sections to ensure the water reaches the entire lawn.
Most established lawns will need approximately two inches of water on the lawn when you water. If the lawn is very brown and has not had any water in a while, then you should increase this to three inches of water on the lawn.
An easy way of checking you have reached the required watering amount is to place either an empty mug or an empty tuna can on the ground in the line of the sprinkler. Once these have filled up to the required watering amounts of two or three inches then you can stop watering.
If the lawn is so dry that the water starts to run off, then water in stages.
How often should I water my lawn?
A good heavy soaking once or twice a week is better than little and often.
When is the best time of day to water my lawn?
Early morning is the perfect time of day to water the lawn, as this will allow the water to penetrate the grass leaf with any excess evaporating off as the sun rises.
If you must water in the evening, try not to water too late as the grass will remain wet as temperature falls which can encourage disease into the lawn.
Never water in the middle of the day as the water will evaporate, and there is also the danger that any water sitting on top of the lawn may scorch the grass.
What to do if there is a hosepipe ban
Established lawns will have built in survival strategies and can last a few weeks without water during a hosepipe ban. If the grass starts to turn brown this is the plant storing food and water in the roots rather than in the leaves. As soon as you are able to water, the grass should quickly start to green up again. But during this time, you should take steps to reduce any extra stresses on the lawn by not mowing the lawn and keeping off the grass as much as is possible, this includes trying not to walk or play on the lawn, and removing objects such as toys, furniture and tents off the lawn.
Watering a new lawn
Newly turfed and seeded lawns are particularly vulnerable to drought or insufficient water and if the soil is allowed to dry out the new seedlings will die. New lawns must be kept continuously moist, never assume that rainfall is enough. Little and often is key for new lawns, for best results water both in the morning and in the evening. We recommend investing in an outside tap, a hose, and always use a sprinkler.
Other lawn watering tips
An aerated, well fertilised lawn will be able to tolerate dry conditions better than one low in essential nutrients. Contact us if you would like further information on our lawn care programmes.
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