How do I know if I need to water my lawn?
It is important to know whether you need to and how to water your lawn. So firstly, you should regularly check to see if the soil does need watering. You use a screwdriver to test this; simply push a screwdriver approximately 6 cm into the soil and if it is clean when removed with no moist soil attached to it, then it’s likely you need to water your lawn.
What aspects can affect watering my lawn?
Understanding your soil will help you decide when to water your lawn. If you have a clay-based soil it will absorb water more slowly and also dry out slowly compared to a sandy soil which readily absorbs water but also loses water quickly. Once you get to grips with your soil and understand how it behaves before and after watering you will know when it is best to water and how often.
Other factors that affect watering your lawn are whether there are slopes or undulations in your lawn, because this can cause pooling or run-off. So ensure that you consider all of these factors when you’re deciding on a regular watering schedule.
How should I water my lawn?
For best results you should try to simulate rain as closely as possible when you water your lawn, so using a sprinkler once or twice a week as a general rule is recommended. The key is also to give the lawn enough water that it reaches the soil’s saturation point, to ensure that the water penetrates deep enough to influence and encourage optimum root growth. As a rule of thumb we recommend applying at least half an inch of water at a time, and a good way to record this is to leave a large jam jar out on the lawn whilst watering so you can see how much water you’ve given your lawn and also know when to stop. This will also help you over time to know in differing conditions how much or little to water.
What time of day is best for watering?
The best time to water your lawn is early in the morning as there is less wind, cooler temperatures and less sun to avoid instant evaporation and so the water will have time to penetrate the soil and reach even the deepest roots.
This also means that if there is any chance of water pooling on the surface of your lawn, there is time during the day for it to dry out with a much lower risk of developing problems like fungus, disease and mould which tend to like moist dark conditions, which is another reason why it isn’t good to water late in the day.
Please note: If it has recently rained you may not need to water the lawn at all.
What should I avoid when watering my lawn?
Watering too little and often is not best practice as water will rarely penetrate deep enough and so it will encourage shallow root growth and therefore make the grass and soil more susceptible to stress and problems like disease, weeds and moss.
Avoid over-watering and the pooling of water on the surface of your lawn as this can encourage lawn diseases.
Recommendations for specific soils:
If the soil is overly compacted (more likely on clay soils) it can make your lawn hydrophobic, which inhibits water from penetrating the root zone and is therefore just a waste of water and your time, and leaves your lawn at risk of drought if you are unable to get water deep into the soil. A solution for this is to aerate your lawn which will help to loosen the surface soil and allow water and air down into the root system.
If your soil is sandy then it’s likely to be free-draining and will quickly lose any moisture, so what can you do?
- Water your lawn more regularly.
- Add top soil, including compost, which will naturally slow down the rate at which the moisture will leach from the soil.
- We strongly recommend an application of our HydratePlus Spray which helps soil hold on to water for longer and therefore enable water to reach the roots more effectively.
We recommend an automatic irrigation system and a good quality sprinkler.
We are more than happy to advise you on this and help you to set it up.
This treatment can support lawns (particularly sandy, free-draining soil types) by penetrating down into the root zone attaching itself to not only soil molecules but water molecules, the HydratePlus Spray then acts like a sponge. It can absorb and hold on to water and then slowly release it back into the grass when it needs it most. This treatment not only support lawns in times of drought but can save you from needing to water your lawn so regularly, while holding onto fertiliser for longer without it simply draining away before it can get to work.
So why not book a FREE So Green Lawn Analysis today…
There’s nothing to lose, but there is a greener, healthier lawn to gain.
Simply book a time that suits you and one of our qualified Lawn Care Specialists will visit to analyse your lawn free of charge.