For a lawn to add value to your home, you need to keep it in a condition that does just that. Having a consistent watering schedule is one of the most important factors in creating and keeping a beautiful, green lawn. Here are some tips to water your lawn for the perfect amount of time.

How Long to Water Your Lawn

How Much Should You Water Your Lawn?

It is not advisable to simply set up a sprinkler system and leave it at that. If you water too little, your lawn will become dry and patchy. However, watering too much will cause your lawn to fall victim to rot or disease. On average a lawn needs one to one and a half inches of water a week depending on the area. There are a few methods for finding how much you should water your lawn to keep it looking healthy and hydrated.

Can Test

Tuna cans, for example, are one inch tall and work best for this method. Set an empty can out in an area that your sprinkler hits, and turn your sprinkler on. Check the can intermittently to see how long it takes to get half of an inch of water in the can. While this may seem odd, this sprinkler testing method will help determine how many minutes you need to water either once or twice per week.


A sprinkler manufacturer should be able to advise you on the designated flow rate of gallons per minute for your sprinkler system. To find out how long you should run your sprinkler, multiply your lawn’s square footage by 0.62 gallons – which works out to one inch per foot. Then, divide that total by the sprinkler flow rate.

Flow Timer

A flow timer is a timer that measures flow in hundreds of gallons. Multiply the square footage of your lawn by 0.62 gallons. That will tell you how many gallons of water you need to give your lawn.

Is your Lawn Getting Enough Water?

If your lawn has taken on a gray shade or has curled grass blades, it means your grass is not getting the proper amount of water per week. If you are not sure, do the step test. When walking on your lawn, the grass should bounce right up where you have stepped. If it doesn’t pop right back up, it needs water.

The screwdriver test is another method of testing. If you can drive a long-bladed screwdriver six inches into the soil, it is well watered. Should there be resistance to pushing the screwdriver down, it is time to water.

When is the Best Time to Water Your Lawn?

If you find that your lawn needs 30 minutes of water each time you water it, divide it into two zones instead. Then, water each zone for 15 minutes. The best time of day to water your lawn is early morning, before 10 a.m., or between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m.

Watering early in the morning or in the evening helps the grass absorb the water before the heat of the sun evaporates it. Do not water your lawn at night, as the water will linger until morning and be hurt by morning frost.

Soil Types and Lawn Care

To grow a healthy lawn, water must reach the root and be fully absorbed by the root systems. Generally, clay and loamy soil store water longer. However, they also absorb water slower, so we recommend watering this type of soil three to four times a week for shorter periods. Sandy soil absorbs water faster but doesn’t store it for as long. Therefore, it is better to water them two to three times a week for slightly longer periods.

Additional Information: Ten Quick Watering Tips

Pioneer Underground Lawn Sprinklers | Omaha’s Best Commercial & Residential Sprinkler Systems

Contact Pioneer Underground Lawn Sprinklers to schedule a free estimate on a system install or to find out what you can do to make your existing system more efficient. We welcome commercial and residential clients. And remember, whether you need our services now… or later in the season, Your Healthy Lawn is Our Passion and we are only a phone call away! Call 402-934-7900 to schedule your service.