Knowing when to water your eco-friendly lawn is key to good maintenance. The best time to water grass depends on the time of day, the weather temperatures, if you have a problem with fungus, or when foot printing is evident due to drought stress. Foot printing is when footprints stay on the grass after walking on it instead of the blades bouncing back up.
Conserving Water – Timing Is Key
You don’t automatically need to start watering grass just because the first warm days of summer have arrived.
Actually, letting the lawn go under mild drought stress increases rooting, which encourages strong turfgrass roots that go deeper for that water source.
When you notice the grass turning a darker color, that is another indication that it’s going under stress and it could be time to start your lawn watering schedule.
Taking a soil sample from the root zone of your lawn to see how much moisture is evident, will also help you decide when to water your lawn.
The Early Bird Does It Right
The best time of day for watering lawns is early in the morning, and if possible just before sunrise. Morning watering lets you take full advantage of the morning dew already on the grass blades.
On established turf grass, your lawn watering schedule should be in the morning. This allows the water to soak into the soil right down to the plant roots.
It minimizes moisture loss from higher temperatures later in the day, and has the advantage of calm from the wind that can cause water to drift from the intended target areas.
The ground shade naturally coming from the grass itself will allow the soil to dry out slowly throughout the day.
Without the help of an in-ground lawn sprinkler system, it’s pretty difficult to water before sunrise. The idea is that the earlier you water, the better it is for your lawn.
Evening Watering – The Big ‘No-No’ For When To Water
Evening watering should be avoided under almost all circumstances. It causes the ground to stay moist and makes an ideal environment for diseases and lawn fungus to thrive in. These can weaken the root system, cause browning or even plant loss.
Evening watering is one of the most common errors Jim has seen, and one of the easiest things to correct. He would often comment on turf being infested with necrotic ring fungus and the homeowner watering generously after supper time, not allowing time for the grass to dry out before nightfall. The fungus would thrive in such an environment.