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How to Water Your Lawn Wisely

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How to Water Your Lawn Wisely

With summer droughts and municipal watering restrictions, maintaining a lush lawn can be a challenge. Here's how to make the most of irrigation practices to keep your lawn looking its best.

5 Steps

  1. When to water
  2. Timing
  3. Sprinklers
  4. How long?
  5. Last steps
When to water

Step 1

When to water

Determining when your lawn needs watering is the first step in maintaining healthy, vigorous turf grass. Allow the soil to dry out between waterings to encourage roots to delve deep into the soil to seek out sources of moisture buried in the ground. When these underground reserves are depleted, the grass begins to wilt, signalling that it's time to water. Watch for telltale signs of thirst: lawns will take on a faint bluish tinge and footprints will leave impressions when you walk over the grass. Depending on the weather, lawns need to be irrigated weekly during the growing season.

Timing

Step 2

Timing

Generally, it's best to water early in the morning when grass blades are turgid and better able to take up moisture. Morning irrigation also allows the grass to dry out during the day so that little moisture remains on the blades overnight when fungal diseases can build up. However, if it's inconvenient or your lawn is in dire need of watering, irrigate as soon as you can.

Sprinklers

Step 3

Sprinklers

There are many different types of lawn sprinklers available, including fan, oscillating and rotary types. Choose the one that is best able to cover the entire lawn, evenly and completely, and connect it to a hose and faucet. If no one type of sprinkler will reach all parts of the lawn, move the sprinkler from area to area so that all sections of the lawn receive enough water.

Step 4

How long?

How long to water depends your soil type. Clay soils absorb water more quickly than sandy ones. The goal is to water long enough for moisture to penetrate to the roots of the turf grass, about 15 to 20 centimetres deep. As a rule, five centimetres of surface water will penetrate this deeply into the soil.

To determine how long to water, turn on your sprinkler and make a note of the time it takes for moisture to reach the root zone. (Use a trowel or soil probe to periodically dig out a divot of soil to check how far the water has reached.) Alternatively, place a rain gauge on the lawn to measure the amount of water coming from your sprinkler.

Step 5

Last steps

After watering, stay off the grass. Walking on water-soaked lawns can damage turf and cause soil compaction.

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Project Details

Skill Level: Beginner

Time: 2 hours

Before you start, read this »

Due to differing conditions, tools, and individual skills, The Home Depot® assumes no responsibility for any damages, injuries suffered, or losses incurred as a result of attempting to replicate any of the home improvement ideas portrayed in this website Before beginning any home improvement project, review it thoroughly to ensure you or your contractor can finish the project and if any doubts or questions remain, consult local experts or authorities. Because codes and regulations vary greatly, you always should check with authorities to ensure that your project complies with all applicable local codes and regulations. Always read and observe all of the safety precautions provided by any tool or equipment manufacturer, and follow all accepted safety procedures.

Materials

  • Water

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