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lawn Watering Tips for a Healthy Lawn

Michael Pruiksma’s lawn Watering Tips!

 lawn Watering Tips

Over last 7 years as a lawn care professional, I have continued to see the same problem’s over and over and the biggest problem most homeowners have are not knowing how to properly water their lawn. They are either over watering or not watering enough.

 How to water your lawn the proper way.

First and most important, water your lawn ONLY when it needs it. Just because you have an irrigation system that automatically comes on when you program it to, does not mean that you should set it and forget it.

Over watering will do more harm than not watering enough. So the first and most important part of watering is only water your lawn when it needs it.

Some weeks you may need to water more or less than last week.

Environmental conditions such as the soil type, rain fall, temperature, wind and humidity are always changing and this will determine on how frequent you need to water.

How do you know when to water?

You lawn will tell you when it is time to water.
When your lawn needs water, it will begin to turn a blue-gray tint, and then the grass plant will begin to wilt. Also when you walk across your lawn your footprints will remain visible and the grass doesn’t bounce back as fast as usual. So when about 30 to 50% of your lawn shows these symptoms, it’s time to water.

How long should you water for?

Lawn’s require about an inch of water per week. Depending on your soil conditions, this means watering each area of the lawn for about one hour per zone. For starters then adjust the amount of time as needed. But this all determines how your irrigation is set up and over laps.

You may need to water the front more than the sides and back or vice versa. I recommend starting out about an hour per zone and see how your lawn responds. If you need more water increase the time to 1:15 the next watering cycle and if it is getting too much water just decrease the amount of time it waters.

Deep infrequent watering is the key. You MUST avoid light frequent watering. Light frequent watering practices promotes shallow root system and the development of fungus and diseases.

Also allow you lawn to dry in between watering. We want to roots to grow down for the water. When you water light and frequent this causes the roots to get lazy and then hey tend to grow laterally instead of down then when it gets hot and dry the lawn will stress out faster and need more frequent fertilizing to look its best.

lawn Watering Tips a general rule of thumb.

  • If the average temperatures are in the 70’s water one day a week!
  • If the average temperatures are in the 80’s water two days a week!
  • If the average temperatures are in the 90’s and above water three days a week!

If we do get rain shut off your irrigation system and turn it back on when your lawn needs it. I have seen so many irrigation systems running full blast when it is pouring out. Don’t always depend on the rain sensors, it can’t tell if it rain last night or is going to rain later today, it will only stop the system from coming on if it is raining.

What time of the day should you water?

During drought situations  when your lawn is getting stressed any time you can water is the right time!

When possible, early morning watering is the best. There is not a lot of wind so the watering will be more effective and plus the lawn will dry out during the day. It is never good to go to bed wet, this will just promote disease.

How to tell if you are over watering or under watering?

The only way to tell is to get down on your hands and knees and look at the grass.  When you are over watering you are going to get little brown spots.

Brown Patch Disease

A closer view you will see.

Signs of Brown Patch disesae

If you get even closer you will see lesions on the blade.

Lesions on Grass Blade

If you do see lesions on the grass-blade turn off the irrigation and let the lawn dry out!

If you let it dry it will die.

If you do not see any improvement in a few days without watering you need to apply a fungicide treatment.


 Signs your lawn is stress and needs water.

This is the grass plant getting stressed.

Stress out Grass

Once you start to see your lawn getting a blueish/gray tint it is time to water.

But if the lawn does not get water this is what your lawn will look like.

Grass dormaint due to lack of water

But when it gets water it will slowly recover.

lawn Watering Tips Wrap Up Summary.

DEEP AND INFREQUENT watering is the key. Water longer for fewer days than more days for less time.

Remember we need to get the water down to the root zone. Light watering will promote shallow root growth and disease in the summer months with the humidity is high.

Water your lawn when it needs it. Some weeks you may need to only water it once per week while other weeks you may need to water it 3  days a week.

Keep an eye on the weather if they are predicting a good amount of rain fall skip watering that day.

This is how you are going to have the best lawn on the block!

Having a healthy lawn requires 3 things, proper feeding (fertilizing), mowing and watering.

If you take care of your lawn, your lawn will look its best!

If you have any comment or questions, leave me a comment below.

Here is to a healthy GREEN lawn,

Michael Pruiksma

3 comments… add one
  • John Gennette

    I have not yet turned on my sprinkler system as we have been having a lot of rain. However when mowing today I noticed quite a bit of dry rot on my front lawn. How do I get rid of it. Look forward to your response.

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