We all want a green, verdant lawn. (Especially one that makes the neighbours crazy jealous.) And one of the keys to achieving lawn nirvana is knowing the best time of day to water. A healthy lawn is a resilient lawn (which is good for you!). And when you water at the right time of day you can potentially save a lot of water (which is good for the environment). Either way, doing it right is a win.
So, when is the best time of day to water a lawn?
What is the best time of day to water your lawn?
Regardless of the time of year, the best time of day to water your lawn is early in the morning after the morning dew has evaporated but before the sun becomes too intense. During most seasons this would ideally be after around 6am and before approximately 10am.
Watering your lawn early in the day means that the water can penetrate the soil before it evaporates in the heat. In south-east Queensland, with our fierce weather, watering early is particularly important in the spring and summer.
Why not water at night
Watering your lawn at night can cause the grass blades to stay wet for longer, which can cause fungal growth. If a night time watering routine is the only time you can manage it, try and keep your watering to between 4pm and 7pm. This is so the water can absorb into the soil and the leaf blades have a chance to dry while there’s still some warmth in the soil.
How often should you water your lawn
As to how often you should be watering your lawn in the early morning hours, we’ve answered all your questions in How Often Should You Water Your Lawn? Also check out How often should you water your lawn in winter?
In short, it all depends on the time of year, your grass type and where you live. The general rule of thumb for watering frequency is:
- In summer, plan to water every three to four days.
- In spring and autumn, plan to water every seven to ten days.
- In winter, keep an eye on your lawn and water as required.
Watering your lawn more often than is required can cause it to take shallow root. If your lawn has shallow roots, it will find it hard to access water and nutrients in the soil, which will make it more susceptible to weeds, pests and fungal disease.
Watering newly laid turf
If you have recently laid turf, you will know that the first few weeks are particularly important. It needs deep watering every day, while it takes root into the soil. Daily watering is needed for about a month while roots establish. And because your new turf could be more susceptible to disease, it’s more important than ever that you water it during the morning hours.
Once your turf has taken root, you can drop watering back to a couple of times a week. Read more in How to Lay Turf: Tips from Brisbane Experts.
How much water should you use
When watering your lawn, it’s important to give it a deep watering, so the soil is wet to a decent depth. What’s a ‘decent depth’? Take a shovel and push it gently into the soil. Take it out and look for the watermark – it should be a good 3cm to 5cm deep.
As you stick to a regular watering schedule, you’ll become more familiar with how much water is enough. Deep watering to a ‘decent depth’ will encourage your lawn to develop deep roots in the soil, which will result in higher quality, more resilient grass.
Bonus tips to keep your lawn well-watered and cared for
A well hydrated lawn will give it the best chance of being drought tolerant. Here are our top tips to growing a healthy, hydrated, resilient lawn:
- If you’re time poor or can’t commit to early morning watering, set up timed sprinklers. This will give you a consistent water coverage, and you can move the sprinklers around as needed. Remember to turn off the timers if you get a bout of rain.
- Aim to be consistent with your watering schedule.
- Watering for a longer period less often, is preferable to watering your lawn for a shorter period more often. For example, watering your lawn in spring for half an hour once each week, is preferable to watering for five minutes four times a week. Longer watering, less often, will help build your lawn’s resilience and help it to become more drought tolerant.
- Always choose ‘warm season’ grass types (in south-east Queensland) if you are laying new turf. Couch and buffalo are robust and will require less water, even across summer.
- Become familiar with your lawn, so you know when it’s had enough water or needs more. You can also keep your eye out for any ‘problem spots’ that may arise and act quickly.
Hopefully you’re now across the best time of day to water your lawn and are ready to plan your lawn-watering schedule. As always, we’ve got lots more to say on watering and all aspects of lawn and garden care. Keep an eye on our how to page for more helpful blog posts like this one. And our product info page has more tips for your yard. For any of your garden and lawn care needs, contact the expert team at Rock’n’Soil at any time!