Watering Tips for Established Lawns

All lawns are not created equal

Watering is an essential part of lawn maintenance, and a total of one inch of water per week (including rainfall) is desirable. Watering deeply two or three times a week in the morning for 30-45 minutes, when necessary, is best for your lawn, encouraging deep root growth. Avoid frequent watering for short periods and avoid watering at night, which promotes lawn disease outbreaks.

You can make your lawn more heat and drought tolerant by using natural products such as Jonathan Green’s MAG-I-CAL and Love Your Lawn – Love Your Soil. If you wish to use organic fertilizer, Jonathan Green’s Black Beauty Organic Lawn Fertilizer contains Hydretain, a natural “watering magnet” that attracts water to the root area. Hydretain can provide your lawn with up to 25% of its water needs. Even if you don’t water your yard regularly, a timely drench in intense heat and drought can save your yard from suffering.

Are all lawns watered the same way?

The amount of water that your lawn needs can vary from home to home. Climate, sunlight, soil condition, and grass type are some of the reasons you may need to adjust the watering frequency.

How much water does the lawn need?

On average, about one inch of water per week during the growing season, including rainfall, should be enough for most lawns. Clay soils may need water applied slowly―or at several different times―for better absorption. A rain gauge, an inexpensive item found at the Gasper Garden Center, is an easy way to measure the amount of water your sprinklers are dispersing onto the lawn. Longer, less frequent soakings (about 20 minutes per zone) are preferred over shorter, daily soakings because it encourages deeper and denser rooting.

How do I know if my lawn is getting enough water?

To check the watering depth, poke a long screwdriver into the soil immediately after watering. The depth at which the screwdriver “easily” slides into the ground indicates the watering extent. If you can slide the screwdriver six inches deep before it becomes more difficult to push, you are watering enough. If not, then you need to adjust the length of time that your sprinklers are running. Using Jonathan Green’s Love Your Soil will help increase soil porosity.

When is the best time to water?

Water lawns in the morning between 5 am, and 10 am. TEarly watering allows time for the water absorption without much evaporation from the heat of the sun. Late morning and early afternoon is usually too hot. Watering late in the day or the evening does not allow the lawn to dry and promote fungus. The fungus develops because the water stays on the leaf surface far too long. Mycelia use the water as a “highway” to travel from leaf-to-leaf and, in so doing, allow the fungus to spread to other parts of the lawn.

What if I can’t water?

If you cannot water, then the lawn may go dormant. Dormancy is a normal response to the stress of heat and drought. Most turf plants can stay dormant for at least 3 to 4 weeks without the grass dying. The length of dormancy depends on the health of the plant. Avoid traffic on the lawn during this time to minimize possible damage to the grass plants.

The Gasper Garden Center sells all of the Jonathan Green products mentioned earlier, as well as a complete selection of irrigation supplies. Any of our associates would be happy to answer any of your questions and assist you in selecting the products right for your lawn.

The moment one gives close attention to any thing―even a blade of grass―it becomes a mysterious, awesome, indescribably magnificent world in itself.

Henry Miller, Author