The Best and the Worst Times to Water Your Grass
Over the years, it has come to my attention that finding the best time to water your grass can be tricky. Each lawn is unique, with different types of grass, sunlight exposure, and unique climates. After much trial and error, I’ve compiled the most important times to water your grass, and the worst time to water your grass.
So, when is the best time to water your grass? The best time to water your grass is early mornings between 6 am and 10 am. This ensures that most of the water soaks straight down into the root zone, and water loss through evaporation is limited.
If you water your grass too much, it will become water-logged and soil microbes won’t be able to break down organic matter like plant clippings. This water-logged lawn is susceptible to diseases caused by anaerobic bacteria.
If you water too little – or worse; not at all – your lawn can also become water-logged, but this time because there’s not enough water in the soil. Repeated periods of drought cause the roots to go into dormancy and reduce their ability to absorb water when rainfall does return. Not only is it important to be educated on when the best time to water grass is, but one must understand when not to water grass.
The Worst Times to Water Grass
The worst times to water your grass is between the hours of 4 pm and 8 pm. This is because water evaporation rates increase after 4 pm, so most of the water will be lost through that route. Watering during this time can also lead to water-logged lawns.
If you water your grass early in the morning or later at night, water loss due to evaporation is reduced thanks to cooler temperatures and lower sun intensity.
Also, it’s important not to water your grass too close to sunrise or sunset as dew reduces water infiltration into the soil. This is due to surface tension during the cool, moist conditions near dawn and dusk – like mornings and evenings.
Seven Things to Avoid When Watering Your Grass
I’ve put together a list of the top worst times to water your grass, and what to avoid:
- Never water your lawn on windy days. It will water-log your grass and water loss through evaporation will be greater as the water droplets are blown away by the wind.
- Never water your lawn on cold days or during freezing weather as water infiltration into soil is slowed down when temperatures are below 50 degrees F, but it’s best to water between 65 and 80 degrees F. Watering in extreme heat can cause water-logging, especially if high humidity follows a rainfall period.
- Watering at night can also lead to water-logged conditions where nitrogen leaching is increased due to the lower activity of microorganisms that break down organic matter after dark – similar to why you shouldn’t water late in the day.
- If you water your grass too much, not only does water loss due to evaporation increase – water runoff will also occur. This water runs down lawns into gutters or storm drains, increasing water pollution in local water bodies. This water-logged condition can then lead to diseases caused by anaerobic bacteria.
- A lawn’s optimal watering schedule is vital to its health and well-being. A frequent midday showering can lead to wasteful evaporation, while too little water at night time causes droplets of rainwater to cling onto grass blades which may increase the risk for diseases such as brown patches or moss infection in your home’s most prized possession
- Never water your grass on days where there are water restrictions or water bans in place. This water is wasted water because it’s lost through evaporation and runoff, which is water that you pay for!
- Never water your grass with water from water treatment plants or water that’s been disinfected. Water from these sources contains a high concentration of chlorine. This can kill beneficial microorganisms in lawn soils and contribute to water-logged conditions. Regular exposure to chlorine also kills the grass itself – similar to how pool chemicals affect regular swimmers.
Is It Bad to Water Grass When It’s Hot Outside?
Yes, water loss due to evaporation increases when water is left sitting on hot lawns. Water evaporation rates increase as the water temperature rises. If you water your grass too close to sunrise or sunset it can lead to water-logged conditions. This is because morning dew reduces water infiltration into soil surface tension.
This occurs during the early morning and evening hours – which are also the coolest parts of the day. If water infiltration slows, water loss due to evaporation is increased as water sits on a hot grass surface. Make sure to water early in the morning or later at night – not during the day.
How Often Should You Water Your Lawn?
Watering grass every day may seem like too much water wastage. We already know water is precious and we can’t do without it. But how often should we water?
What factors do we need to consider in determining how long we water our lawns? Is there a certain time between each water session that we mustn’t go below?
The answer: it depends on several factors such as humidity levels, temperature, wind speed, and the overall health of the plant. It would be a good idea to water the grass before sunrise or after sunset.
This is because water evaporation is minimal during these times. Also, it would be best not to water the lawn on windy days because water will evaporate easily.
General Guidelines for How Long to Water Your Lawn
During the summer months (June to August), water your grass every second day. This should be enough water for your grass to stay green and healthy. It is recommended that you water the ground instead of the leaves. Doing so will discourage fungal growths or mildew.
In the winter months (November to February), decrease the frequency to once every three days for adequate water supply. This is especially true if there have been long periods of drought conditions in your area.
While water supply is important, water retention by the soil is equally important. Drip irrigation provides water to deep areas of the soil instead of just to the surface like with overhead sprinklers.
If you water your lawn every day, apply water slowly so that it does not run off too quickly and wastewater. Also, make sure that you aerate your grass before watering. Water will flow through easily when there are holes in the ground for water to pass through more effectively.
What Happens If You Water Your Lawn Every Single Day?
There happens to be a debate about water that could affect the well-being of your lawn. Some would say water can stress out grass and make it more susceptible to damage from the sun. However, water also helps maintain humidity in the ground so grass can germinate and grow properly.
If you water every day, you’ll kill the roots of your grass and dehydrate it. This is especially true when water droplets evaporate almost instantly. This will cause irreversible damage to your yard’s overall aesthetic appeal. For this reason, you should water once or twice a week (usually during early morning hours).
Can I Water My Lawn When It’s Windy?
It’s best to water when it’s not windy outside and the water droplets reflect a rainbow in the sun. This means you’re watering enough to provide saturation but avoiding an excess runoff.
If water isn’t able to penetrate down into the dirt, all of your efforts will evaporate before they can be put towards productive purposes.
Water is necessary for plant life. However, there needs to be a balance between what people would call ‘wet’ and ‘dry’. When water is applied too often, roots can’t grow deep into the ground.
This makes them more susceptible to damage from natural occurrences like high winds or insect infestation.
In short: water your lawn about two times per week – once on Wednesday and again on Saturday morning.
How Do You Detect an Overwatered Lawn?
One way to detect an overwatered lawn is to feel the soil in the area that was watered with your hand. If it feels wet, then most likely there’s overwatering going on.
Another way to detect overwatered is to check the color of the grass or plants that are growing in that area or nearby areas after watering them. If one or both of these things happen, you need to cut back on how much water you pour down on your lawn every time you water! This means you need to either decrease how often you water your lawn or decrease how long each watering session lasts.
It can be tricky to understand what grass needs during the different seasons and times of the day. However, grass is a plant that benefits from watering early in the morning or late at night when days are cooler. Don’t be afraid to reach out to a lawn grass specialist for advice, and then enjoy your beautiful grass all year long!