To some, having a nice lawn is a matter of pride. To others, it's just a place for the kids to play. Whichever camp you're in, you need to know the proper way to water the lawn or pretty soon, you won't have one. Find out how savvy you are when it comes to lawn watering.
Mistake 1 - Too Much Water
Too much water sets your lawn up for getting diseases. But, how much is too much? It may surprise you but your lawn only needs 1" of water per week during the growing season unless you live in the Southwest. Lawns in the southwestern part of the United States need an extra 1" per week due to dry conditions and low humidity.
The best and least expensive way to know how much water your lawn needs is to buy an inexpensive rain gauge at your home improvement store. If you have a lawn sprinkler system, buy several gauges and place one by each sprinkler. Run the sprinkler for 15 minutes. Check the gauges to see how much water each gauge collected and you'll know how long to water.
For instance, if you have 1/2 inch of water in each gauge after 15 minutes, you'll know you need to water for 30 minutes to give your lawn 1 inch.
Mistake 2 - Too Little Water
Even though you want to conserve water and save on your utility bill, be sure to give your lawn enough water. Follow the rule above and give your lawn 1" per week. Giving your lawn too little water encourages crabgrass and other weeds to grow.
Not watering enough also causes your grass to have shallow roots. Your grass will grow roots as deep as the water goes into the soil. If you water for short amounts of time, your grass will have shallow roots and not be hardy.
Mistake 3 - Watering too Often
Watering every day for short spurts isn't good for your lawn. It's better to water less often and give the grass its 1" than to water every day. By letting your lawn dry out between watering, pests and diseases are discouraged, as they need water to thrive.
Mistake 4 - Watering at the Wrong Time
When the summer sun is beating down, you're hot and need a drink of water; it's natural to think your grass needs watering too. But during the heat of the day is the worst time to water.
During the hottest time of day, most of the water you put on your lawn will evaporate before the grass ever gets it. The best time to water is early in the morning. The water will have time to soak deep into the soil and the grass will have time to dry out during the rest of the day. This drying out time is important to discourage pests and diseases.
If you're not making any of these mistakes - kudos to you! If you are, now's your chance to fix your past mistakes and look forward to a luxurious lawn that's the envy of the neighborhood and a favorite place for the kids to play.