Grass needs a lot of things to grow well: nutrient-rich soil, fertilizer, sunlight, and maybe most importantly, water. Proper lawn watering is essential to the continued health and growth of your turfgrass, and is vitally important to establishing new sod installations. It’s the one thing that your grass will need, no matter the time of year.
Follow Green Guys’ Lawn Watering Instructions for both new and established lawns below to get the most out of your yard.
Week 1: 30 minutes, 3 times a day at 9am, Noon and 3pm
Week 2: 30 minutes, 2 times a day at 10am and 2pm
Week 3: 30 minutes, once a day at 1pm
Week 4: Every other day for 30 minutes at 4am
Note: Weather conditions may alter this program.
If the temperature exceeds 87 degrees, double the lawn watering schedule above (instead of 30 minutes, water for 1 hour).
WATER, WATER, WATER…
The first 72 hours after the sod has been placed are the most critical! It must be kept VERY, VERY WET to a depth of 6” to 8″.
There are several important reasons for heavy watering:
- The ET (evapotranspiration) rate of new sod increased, therefore, heavy watering is critical at this time.
- It forces air from between the sod and sub-soil, preventing yellowing “air-burn”.
- Water is needed to activate the Fertilizer which stimulates strong, vigorous root activity.
DEEP, HEAVY WATERING will ensure your sod’s lasting success. After installation, your turf should be kept very moist for two weeks. This accelerates root growth and eliminates cracks from forming between sod strips. If you see cracks or seams, the sod is shrinking due to a lack of water.
How Do I Know If My Lawn is Established?
After roots are well established and the grass itself has a good green color, check it by gently pulling on the sod. If the strips don’t give when you pull, your lawn is established.
Are there Any Additional Factors that Contribute to Watering Needs?
Yes, weather conditions. Give your lawn extra water during hot, dry or excessively windy periods. Some other factors are: the lower the grass length, the more water needed. Heavy thatch is a barrier to penetration. Heavy soil restricts water absorption which can be alleviated by applying elemental sulfur to lower the pH of the soil and make the soil profile more porous.
How much water does an established lawn need?
The average lawn will use between 1 to 2 inches of water over its surface in a week’s time depending on the ET rate. To know if water has penetrated deep enough (6-8”), wait 12 hours after watering, then penetrate the ground with a screw driver. If it goes about 6” without much resistance, it is wet enough. Stressing established turf by infrequent watering encourages deep root penetration. Proper irrigation habits should include a pattern of infrequent deep-watering once a lawn has been established.
Many people water often and shallow; this is called “syringing” and can be harmful to turfgrass.
What time of the day should you water established lawn?
Early morning is the best time for watering. The cool temperatures in first half of the day will keep your soil hydrated and will help to prevent evaporation.