How to Water the Lawn Effectively

“I know how to water lawn my way,” my old high school buddy used to say. He did it his way alright. He would water the grass when he got ready. He would water ten minutes one day then two minutes a few days later. Just whatever he could fit in was good enough was his argument to me. We had a good laugh about his watering “technique” because we both knew the lawn was not getting the proper diet of H2O.

Watering lawns is quite simple. You have a lawn. You have a water hose or sprinkler system. Mix together. Right. But, there are proper amounts to consider, as well as the frequency.

How to Water Your Lawn Manually….

If you are manually watering your lawn, I feel for you. I know this is an irritating task. A sprinkler system is so much nicer, but I know that is not in every home owner’s budget. Although there are small systems meant for tiny properties that almost anyone can afford and install themselves.

How do you water manually? Well,…… with a little helper. Dragging a water hose all over the yard is no fun, but it is necessary if you need to water the grass and do not have the luxury of a sprinkler system. If you must use this method, at least get a good wand to put on the end of your hose. This can save you a few steps in the long run. You can also find a sprinkler head that connects to the hose directly and will run in certain spray patterns while the water is on. Add in a timer to the water spigot and you have a near sprinkler system. This isn’t as good as the automatic setup, but it is better than the old drag-a-hose method.

Automatic Sprinkler

If you have an automatic sprinkler system then your watering life is easy. As long as you are familiar with your system, you have little to do once you set up the sprinklers. Reading the owner’s manual is a key to understanding how to work your system. Don’t toss it aside. I know you hate to read instructions, but just this once, try it! After you have your sprinklers set like you want for specific days, duration, and zones entered, you still need to check to make sure each sprinkler head is working properly. All systems have a test mode for checking that. Once the initial check is good, then just monitor the system on a regular basis. Mainly you will need to watch out for damaged heads from mowing.

How Much Water?

How much to water the lawn is kind of tricky. It depends on how much rainfall you get obviously. You generally want to put out about an inch of water each week. A little more won’t hurt. Less is not enough in a hot summer. Most automatic sprinklers have rain sensors that will stop them from running if they sense rain. That is a good way to save water by not doubling up.

Other Factors to Consider

Other factors are temperature, season, and type of grass. As a general rule you want to water early in the morning. At night the water may sit too long and create a fungus issue. Watering in the heat of the day is wasteful, as much of the H2O will evaporate. That is a waste of water, not to mention you are not helping your lawn much.

Many people think that watering is not as beneficial to grass as rainfall. It sounds like an old wive’s tale. However, I have seen some truth to this. I don’t know if it is because of chemicals in city water not being as beneficial as water straight from the sky or not. Folks using well water may not see any difference in rain water and using sprinklers.

Water is a precious resource that we need to take care of daily. There is nothing wrong with watering our lawns. As long as we do it wisely, we are doing right by nature and our turf.

As Always, Happy Mowing!

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