Whether you realize it or not, grass can make or break a lawn. Nothing makes a healthy lawn feel as fresh as a nice mat of grass. These hardy plants certainly do benefit from some tender love and care and you probably already know the importance of regular mowing with the best mower for hills and watering your grass.
However, when do you water your grass? Do you have a lawn care schedule you follow? It might surprise you but when it comes to watering your grass, there is indeed such a thing as the best time to do so.
Why Should You Care?
Why is it important to know when is the most ideal time to water your lawn? You might have seen some neighbors turn on their sprinklers all throughout the day and their grass looks fine so why shouldn’t you do the same?
For one, it benefits the environment. Climate change has brought about a rise in atmospheric temperatures, which is why people are experiencing droughts more often. Even from this reason alone, that should be enough to persuade everyone to water the grass at a certain time that would benefit them the most, compared to having a sprinkler waste water all day.
If you’re not interested in saving the planet, then you might be interested in saving some money. Watering the grass at the best time once a day uses significantly less water, compared to having a sprinkler water the lawn all day.
What is the Best Time to Water Your Lawn?
The most ideal time to water your lawn can differ, depending on the type of grass you have. A good rule of thumb is to water the grass during early morning, preferably at sunrise.
During the early morning at sunrise, everything is cooler – such as the soil and the air. At this point, water absorption is thought to be the best.
Water will easily make its way down the soil and fully saturate the soil, making the water highly available for the grass to uptake.
Comparatively, watering the grass at a later part of the day with a higher temperature can risk losing some of the water due to evaporation. This way, watering at this time will not only maximize the effectiveness of the water but will also save you from wasting water as well.
Why Shouldn’t I Water The Grass at Night?
If the concern is watering the grass at a time where the temperatures are low, why shouldn’t you simply water the grass at night then?
Night time seems highly ideal since it doesn’t involve people getting up early in the morning and at night time, they would have already come back from work. Unfortunately, the temperatures of the night might be too low for watering the grass.
Have you ever wondered why the grass is wet with dew in the early morning even though it doesn’t rain? That’s because the temperature in the air holds moisture that then makes them cling to the grass.
Plants like grass do indeed need water but they don’t need water on their leaves. They need water in the soil where grass roots can absorb them.
Watering at night can still lose some water in some way as the water can cling to the grass instead of going down the soil. Thus, even though night time has cool temperatures too, it wouldn’t be the most ideal time to water your lawn.
How Much Water Should You Use?
You might think that drenching the soil in a torrent of water will be better since it would take less time. Mathematically, you wouldn’t be wrong.
For example, if you are going to use a liter of water to water your lawn, dumping a liter of grass on the lawn will take a fraction of the time it would take to sprinkle a liter of water on the same amount of soil. However, this is the wrong way.
Instead of setting the sprinklers to the highest setting, keep it at a moderate or even lower setting first. Introducing a lot of water in a small amount of time does not give the water enough time to be absorbed by the soil.
If the rate of water introduction exceeds the rate of water absorption in the soil, then you will be risking wasting water due to runoff. Instead, keep it at a lower rate that will maximize the water you’re using by letting water get absorbed by the soil first.
A good rule of thumb is to use an inch of water a week. There’s really no need to water your lawn everyday, especially if the soil would still be holding water from the day before.
The rule of watering the grass with an inch of water a week makes it easier to save on your water bill. To determine how you will set your sprinklers, go out and put some cups around your healthy lawn.
Turn on the sprinkler system and see how long it would take for the cups to get filled with about ⅓ or ½ inch. Once you find out how long it would take the sprinklers to fill the cups to those levels, then you can go ahead and have your sprinklers turned on that same amount of time for about every three days. That would give you about an inch of water per week.
How to Know if You’re Using the Right Amount of Water?
You have to know the signs of both overwatering and not watering enough.
First, you would know if you’re not watering enough if you see signs of dryness. Obviously, a lawn that is well watered should not be dry. The grass will also tell you if they are not receiving enough water.
Water deficit symptoms can include discoloration or curling at the tips. You would also know how healthy and watered grass is when you step on them. Water is one of the main reasons that plants can keep upright, which is why wilting makes them droop.
If you want to know if the grass is getting enough water, go ahead and step on the grass. If the grass is getting enough water, they will spring right back up.
However, if the grass does not bounce back after getting stepped on, then that might be a sign of a lack of water. If you see signs of dryness and lack of water, you can simply remedy that by increasing the sprinkler time.
On the other hand, you can also water the grass too much. The grass might not show too many signs of overwatering but if you step on the ground and it feels spongy and mushy, then that’s a sign that the soil is holding on to so much water.
While this may not necessarily be detrimental to your grass, this is a waste of efficiency as you are wasting water that isn’t even being absorbed by the grass roots. In this case, you can slowly decrease the sprinkler time.
Note that when you are changing water schedules, volumes, and frequencies, it is highly recommended to implement changes gradually over time.
Changing how you water the grass abruptly can shock the grass and they can get damaged with the sudden change in their water availability.
Get a Sprinkler that Would Help You Water Your Lawn
Lawn care and watering can be a chore, especially if watering grass would mean getting up early in the morning. However, technological advancements mean you can sit back and relax as a sprinkler can do the job.
You should get a sprinkler that has the necessary capacity to water the space you have and preferably, it should come with features that allow you to schedule its activity. This way, you can have a sprinkler that will sufficiently water your grass at a preset time that you’ve determined. For grass, setting your sprinklers to go on at sunrise would be the best way to go.