The Best Way to Water Your Lawn
If you want your lawn to thrive you need to water it. That part is simple but how much or how long is the ultimate question. So ultimately, we’re changing the way we talk about watering and hopefully your lawn will benefit…
Watering is one of the most important things you can do for your lawn. Through long dry summers, springs with minimal rainfall, and especially after a Lawn Renovation which introduces new seed. But, knowing you need to water is the easy part.
Knowing how much water your particular lawn requires and how long to water for is where things get more complicated.
As lawn care specialists we only want to give you the most accurate and helpful information so after lawn renovations we recommend timings for how long to water your lawn for over the first 6 weeks but this can come with its downsides.
Watering should be more personal…
Offering a set of timings can be helpful as a starting point but it can also be too vague and too broad to cover all types and sizes of lawn.
Watering is affected by so many things: the size of your lawn, the type of watering device you use, whether you use a handheld hose or a sprinkler, your soil type, recent cloud cover, wind, and how much shade or sun your garden gets…
So we want to change the way you water and offer you a more personal watering solution because all of these factors influence watering and its effectiveness. That’s not to say that ‘watering for 20 minutes’ won’t work, but if you really want to get to know your lawn and what it needs, you need to tailor your watering programme.
How much or how long SHOULD you water?
The short answer is, it depends on your garden. And that is the honest answer because if you want to get your watering programme right, it needs to be tailored to your garden specifically, and you are the only one who can do that.
We want you to learn what your lawn needs and be confident in your watering programme rather than simply watering for an amount of time we instruct and then hoping for the best.
Watering after a Renovation or Overseeding
If you’ve just had a Lawn Renovation or you’ve Overseeding your lawn your soil needs to be constantly moist for the first 2 – 3 weeks in order to help the new seeds germinate, which can take as little 5 days and as long as 30 days. This means watering every day and ensuring the moisture reaches a depth of around 2cm. If it isn’t moist, you’re not watering enough.
After 3 weeks post-renovation, you can water less frequently but for longer because now you want the water to get deeper into the soil to encourage deep, strong root growth. Aim for moisture to reach 4cm – 10cm into the soil.
Top Tip | The important thing to note is not to simply stop watering cold turkey after 2 – 3 weeks, you need to gradually adjust your watering and ease off so your grass can adjust to the change.
Watering a fully established lawn
Once you have a fully established lawn you, ideally, want the water to reach as deep as it can go. This can be as deep as 15cm or more in good soil conditions. A fully established lawn should need one or two good soaks a week, which means less frequent but longer watering sessions.
Top Tip | Made a lot easier if you have a sprinkler system with a timer, so there’s time for the water to penetrate deeply.
But how do you know how much to water?
TEST IT! It’s as basic as it gets when it comes to gardening but it works – stick your finger in the soil and feel how moist it is.
This is a simple but hugely effective way to test areas of your lawn for hydration and it will help you to learn which areas need more or less water.
- Stick your finger in the soil or scratch at the surface
- Does it feel moist down to around ½ inch?
- If not, it needs more water.
Or… The Tin Can Test
There’s another way to test how much rain we’ve had and how much water your sprinkler outputs and that is the tin can test.
- Pop an old tin can or tuna tin where your sprinkler is spraying.
- Take note of how long it takes for the water to reach around 2 cm.
- You can use that timing as a general rule around your garden.
This is a great way to better understand your particular watering system and your soil type. Over time you will learn how much water your lawn needs and which areas may need a little extra help.
Watering isn’t just for summer!
Watering doesn’t just apply in summer. We may have a dry spring or autumn, so don’t neglect your watering just because the season has changed. Like any plant, your lawn needs regular hydration and if it’s not getting that from nature then you have to help it out!
Don’t over water!
Yes, that’s right, although we are far more likely to underwater, you can over do the hydration. And knowing what too much is will come with learning about your lawn but it’s important that you avoid watering so much that it begins pooling on the surface. Too much water can bring with it a whole host of lawn problems, including diseases, pests and moss. Don’t open that can of worms!
Got questions? Give us a call on 07421452300 or send us a message. Or if you would like to arrange a free no obligation Lawn Analysis simply complete the online contact form and we’ll be in touch shortly!