Watering Your Lawn

Helpful Tips

A thorough soaking once a week is much better for your lawn than several lighter sprinklings. A single, weekly watering forces the grass to grow longer, healthier roots.

Beware of Over-Watering

In the U.S., for example, lawns are typically over-watered by 30 percent or more. Considering how many folks water their lawns and how often, that's an enormous amount of water! Let's save some for our grandchildren.

Don't over-water your lawn. As a general rule, lawns only need watering every 5 to 7 days in the summer. A hearty rain eliminates the need for watering for as long as two weeks.

The Green, Green Grass of Home...

Everybody knows how to water a lawn. You just run a hose to the front yard and screw in the sprinkler, right? Not exactly.

Learning what happens behind the scenes (or rather, beneath the scenes) will help you save water and will produce a healthier and more robust lawn. This short guide will give you some tips on the whole process.

Test your yard to see what kind of soil it is. If a short section of pipe is available, use it to take a four to six inch sample of the earth. Otherwise, use a trowel. Sandy soils are very porous, so you need to water them more often. Soils with a higher clay content retain moisture well and won't require as much attention.

Know Your Lawn's Needs

Your lawn needs an inch of water per week to stay healthy-looking and green. If there isn't sufficient rain, take matters into your own hands with a sprinkler or hose. Test to see if your lawn is too dry: dig down 4 to 6 inches into the soil. If it's dry all the way down, it's time to start watering.

In the summer heat, your lawn may turn brown. Despite common beliefs, you can actually leave off watering: wait for the autumn rains. Take a break from mowing, too. Grass goes into dormancy when its leaves dry out. But after a rejuvenating soak from Mother Nature or the sprinkler, it'll bounce back quickly.

Just Add Water...

Water lightly and evenly. If you have a sprinkler, this will be taken care of for you. But if you use a hose, be careful not to flood a section of your yard. Watering quickly and heavily will not water the lawn properly. It only creates runoff and wastes a lot of water.

Mulch to retain moisture in the soil. Mulching also helps to control weeds that compete with plants for water.

Finish Up

Knowing when to stop is the key to saving water. Use a garden spade to check how far the water has penetrated into the soil. When your lawn is wet to a depth of 6 inches, that's plenty.