Keeping your lawn properly hydrated during the summer months can sometimes be a tricky task. This is especially true if you’re a new homeowner with not a lot of lawn watering knowledge. What many may not realize is that overwatering can actually do more harm than underwatering. But how do we know where that sweet spot lies? In this article, we cover when to water, how much to water, as well as some general tips for keeping your lawn happy, healthy, and hydrated all summer long.

Lawn Watering Tips For Summer

When to water

To begin, one of the best times of the day to water your lawn is in the mornings (ideally before 9- 10 AM). Since it’s a bit cooler at this time of day, the nutrients should be able to properly soak into the soil. Watering in the morning will allow for the lawn to slowly dry throughout the day. Watering during the afternoon, on the other hand, will cause the water to evaporate quickly due to the high heat and possible winds. Furthermore, opting for nighttime watering can lead to disease and pests. So, one of your first rules of thumb here should be early morning watering.

How much to water

Now that we’ve discussed when to water, we can move on to how much. Scotts recommends that “most lawns need 1 to 1.5 inches of water per week—either from rain or watering—to soak the soil that deeply.” The top 6 to 8 inches of soil should be wet after you finish watering. It can either be done one time throughout the week or divided into two watering sessions. As mentioned earlier, keep in mind that less is more in this case.

Signs of overwatering and underwatering

If you wonder whether or not you are overwatering or underwatering, here are a couple of helpful tips to look out for. To start, crabgrass and fungi may be present in an over-watered lawn. The reason for this is that they like to grow in puddles. Speaking of puddles, if you do notice them or any kind of run-off, this is another sign that you’re overdoing it. Additionally, if your sidewalk is soaking wet after a watering session, it may be time to make some adjustments.

When it comes to underwatering, one of the most obvious signs will be patches of yellow/dry grass. You may also be observing some dry soil, as well as a fungus called Ascochyta Leaf Blight. This fungus disguises itself as long, yellow, and brittle grass. Fortunately, there are products available to help revive your lawn back to the hydrated lawn it was meant to be.

The lawn watering sweet spot

There are plenty of measures to take when determining if you’re in the sweet spot. To begin, you can check to see how well your soil is taking in the water by using a screwdriver. During your first watering, insert a screwdriver into the soil every 15 minutes to determine how deep the water’s going. If you can’t get it at least six inches in, you most likely need more. If you have a sprinkler system, you can multiply the square footage of your lawn by 0.62 gallons, then divide by the flow rate. Doing this will give you the minutes you’ll need to water.

John C. Fech from the University of Nebraska, advises pulling out tuna or coffee cans and measuring how much water is collected in a 15-minute period. You’ll also want to observe your system at least once a month. “Look for heads that don’t turn, heads that spray into the street or onto a sidewalk, bent or damaged heads, clogged or worn nozzles or orifices, turf growth around heads that impede water delivery, puddling, and runoff.”

Finding the sweet spot when it comes to watering your lawn doesn’t have to be complicated as long as you know what to look for. Whether it’s watering at the right time of the day, taking precautions to make sure the perfect amount is being distributed, or looking for the signs of underwatering and overwatering, your lawn should be in pristine condition with these tips.

Additional Reading:

Lawn Watering Tips – When Is the Best Time to Water Your Lawn?

Ten Quick Watering Tips

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