Wondering when is the best time to water the grass? There are definite times when to water, and when not to water. In addition, too much and too little water can also damage your beautiful lawn. Learn these tips for healthy grass and more.
Learn When is the Best Time to Water the Grass and Why
According to many horticultural experts, the early morning is the best time when to water the grass. This is because the water has time to percolate down through the soil into the roots of the grass before the sun can cause the water to evaporate.
In addition, learn about when not to water the grass. Along with knowing when is the best time to water the grass, the amount of water used is also important; too much can cause water-logging and too little will produce weeds.
Introduction: When to Water the Grass
There are many opinions about when is the best time to water the grass, but the consensus of horticulture experts agree that watering early in the morning, about 4 or 4.30 AM is the best time.
You will know that the grass needs watering as it will turn from a healthy green color to light brown color with yellow patches. Once watered the color will return, but this feast and famine approach is not recommended for a succulent green grass lawn.
This article on proper lawn watering will examine signs of grass drought, addressing when is the best time to water the grass, and the reasons why.
Potential Grass Problems
Before you start soaking your wilting grass with water, it is best to identify the problem:
The color of the Grass
The grass will develop brown and yellow patches when thirsty. However, before this stage it can change to a gray/blue hue at the tips, giving an even earlier warning signal of needing water.
When this is evident, watering is needed as the soil has dried out. This causes dry patches where the soil underneath can actually become hydrophobic or water repellent. Using a manual lawn aerator to prick the soil, preferably a hollow tined model, will let the water through the hard soil.
If you walk on the lawn and your footprint leaves a pockmark, this indicates dry grass; healthy grass will spring back up again when walked on.
Leaf Blades Folding Inward
This is a sure sign of grass requiring watering as the blades turn inward to preserve what little moisture remains in the roots.
How Much Water Does My Grass Need?
This is very much dependent on the part of the world you live in, whether in a drought or flood zone.
However, if we narrow this down and look at the USA and Europe, we can give a rough estimation of the amount of water the grass needs to avoid drought stress. That said, if there is a water ban in effect, there is nothing much you can do except save your bath and dishwashing water and use this as a substitute.
The ideal amount of water to give the grass is enough to get the optimum supply to the roots, without overwatering. Too much will lead to waterlogging, and too little will promote the growth of weeds.
Generally, the grass will need 1/2″ to 3/4″ of water usually once or at the most twice a week. It is best to water once a week at 1/2″ first before increasing to 3/4″.
A very crude but effective way to find out how long to leave the sprinkler on is to set a number of empty cans inside the zone of the sprinkler. Turn on the water and time how long this takes to put 1/2″ of water in the can. This will give the sprinkler operating time per zone.
I have used this system both watering by hand using the hose spray, and a sprinkler, (Tips from an old Percy Thrower book of 1969 vintage) with good success.
When is the Best Time to Water the Grass and Reasons Why
Water in the Early Morning
The best time to water the grass is early in the morning because this gives the water a chance to soak down to the roots before the sun gets too hot and starts to dry out the leaves and soil through evaporation.
Watering During the Day
The sun will evaporate a high percentage of the water, allowing only a small amount to get to the roots, encouraging weeds to grow. Some folk says that the sun burns the grass by magnifying the rays; however, I read in one of my gardening books that this is a fallacy – comments please from you gardeners out there.
Watering at Night
Never water at night! Water will remain on the leaves and in the top of the soil for at least eight hours as it will not evaporate. This will cause all sorts of fungus and other diseases, rotting the roots and leaving large bald patches in the lawn.
A well-maintained lawn sets the beauty of the whole garden, and as watering is a big part of this. It is very important to know when is the best time to water the grass during the dry summer months in Europe and the USA.
The best time when to water the grass is in the early morning, around 4 AM before the sun is warm enough to evaporate the water from the leaves and top of the soil.
During the day is not such a good time to water the grass as the hot sun and the warm ground will evaporate a lot of the water before it can get down to the roots. Watering the grass at night will severely damage the grass as the water will lie on the leaves and soil, leading to fungus growth and other diseases.
- Reference Web: greenthumb – the best time to water the grass
- Reference Web: edis – how much water does your grass need?