Most homeowners know that watering is an important part of maintaining their lawns.
Still, most homeowners are surprised to learn the proper amount of water their lawn needs, how frequent waterings need to be, and how those answers can change depending on the season and the type of grass and soil on your property.
Improper watering is one of the biggest offenders when it comes to causing other problems in your lawn. For something seemingly simple, there’s a lot that can go wrong.
Over-watering can make it easier for disease to take hold of your trees and grass, and allows water to move through the root zone into the subsoil, where the roots can’t reach. Under-watering can starve your lawn of important nutrients and lead to shallow roots, which can stunt your grass.
Your lawn needs, on average, about 1 inch of water per week for maximum growth; and when Mother Nature doesn’t give us the rain we need when it need it most, you may have to step in.
First, you want to water deeply enough to moisten the root zone of your lawn without wasting water. The root zone is the soil that surrounds the roots, usually about six inches deep. It’s also important to give your soil time to dry out between waterings, so your roots can absorb oxygen.
We asked our lawn and tree care professionals for their best advice on how to keep your landscape in top shape this year:
Water Early in the Day
The time of day that you water matters more than you think. In the morning, lawns are wet with dew. This reduces the overall amount of evaporation that takes place, allowing more water to reach the root zone.
Midday watering can lead to excessive evaporation, and watering at night increases your risk of lawn diseases taking hold.
We recommend watering between 4 AM and 10 AM.
Spread Water Uniformly
Sprinklers can make watering simpler, but they can vary in distribution patterns and require overlap to get uniform coverage on your lawn. If you have issues with flooded spots and dry spots, try using an empty coffee can or pot on the lawn to measure water application rates.
Know your “problem spots” - sloped areas in your lawn, areas that get hit with afternoon sun, areas near sidewalks or driveways, heavily shaded areas - and take extra care to ensure that these areas are getting enough water to fully penetrate the soil.
Use a rain gauge to measure how much water you’re applying. Most lawns in Colorado have clay soils, which absorb water slowly. This means overwatering can make your plants more prone to pests can can lead to stormwater runoff and pollution.
By choosing and operating a water system correctly or being mindful with your sprinklers and hose, you can reduce water bills, insect and disease problems, and maintenance requirements.
Keep your eye on the weather. If rain is expected soon, you don’t need to water your lawn.
Don’t apply more water to the lawn than what is absolutely necessary - we recommend about an inch of water per week, but you can gauge whether that is ideal for your lawn over time.
You can also test whether you’re watering efficiently by digging out a small piece of sod in each zone of your lawn. Dig six inches deep to check for moisture.
Looking for more tips on how to maximize the results of your lawn care with best watering practices? Our technicians are always happy to help.