Tips for Watering Your Lawn


I’m going to take a break from my deeper WHY redeem your ground posts to give you some helpful information on HOW you can redeem your ground.  And I mean quite literally…how to best water your lawn.  Given that it’s already getting into the mid-80s here, it’s something a lot of people are asking.  But by following just a few easy tips you can create greener, lusher spaces that are much more enjoyable to hang-out and play in…well at least than the parched earth you might have if you don’t!


Make Sure the Water Really Soaks In

Most people ask the question, “How long should I water my lawn?”.  Like many of life’s other critical questions, the answer to that question is “it depends.”

  • But the right question to ask is “How long does it take to moisten the soil 6” below the surface?”  When you do this you will promote healthy roots…and healthy roots = healthy lawn.  I know…not something you probably know off the top of your head.  But if you want to find out…simply check the soil every 15 minutes or so while watering by taking a shovel and lift up the dirt 6” down to see if it’s dry or not.
  • Another guide is making sure your lawn gets 1” of water a week…either through rainfall or by hand/sprinklers.  You can test to see how long that takes in your yard by putting down an empty can and running your sprinklers.  (Note: You should probably put out multiple cans per zone…as not all zones and all sprinklers are alike.  You can adjust accordingly.)
  • Also, it is better to water only a few times a week for longer periods of time, than many times a week for shorter periods of time.  So rather than watering every day for 15 minutes, it’s better to water longer 1 or 2 times a week…again, making sure your lawn gets 1” a week.  This will allow the water to really soak in…which will encourage the roots to grow deeper, stronger.
  • If you have clay soil…watering once a week is probably fine (since clay retains water); however, if you have sandy soil (i.e., water just runs through it), probably 2 times a week (or possibly 3) is probably best.
  • Note, in late summer, you may need to up the amount of water you give your lawn…maybe up to 2”.  Again, it’s an issue of letting the water soak 6” into the soil.

Water in the Morning

When you water your lawn is critical:

  • For both reasons of water conversation and the health of your lawn you should water early in the day…between 4 & 10am (I have mine set for 5:30am).  At this time of day your lawn is probably already wet from the morning dew…which will help the water soak in.

How to Water Your Lawn - Redeem Your Ground |

  • If you water in the midday sun, not only do your run the risk of shocking your plants’ tender leaves, but a good deal of the water you’re paying good money for will evaporate.  Logically, less water in the air = more water getting to your lawn’s roots.
  • If you water in the evening, you increase the chances of diseases setting in. However, if you live in particularly hot climates (e.g., night-time temps don’t go far below 70 degrees), you could also water in the late evening.

Other Helpful Tips

Here are a few other helpful lawn-watering tips:

  • If you don’t have a sprinkler system, spend the $10-20 to invest in a timer.  If you have a timer, you won’t have to worry about starting or stopping…two critical things to remember when watering your lawn.
  • Don’t wait for your lawn to look half-dead to water it…if you do, it’s probably too late.
  • Don’t overwater. Overwatering makes your lawn and plants more susceptible to pests and disease.
  • Conserve water…don’t water your street, driveway, or sidewalks.
  • De-thatch and aerate when needed – both will help water penetrate the soil better.


I think that’s enough for now.  I hope you found these few tips helpful.  Do you have any other watering tips or resources you’d like to pass on?  If so, please do.

Take care,
Doug initial

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  1. Bill Caldwell on May 8, 2014 at 9:10 pm

    Aerating your lawn also helps water to soak into your soil.

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