When is the optimal time to water your lawn?
People will water their lawns day or night, whenever it is convenient. Some people (and many businesses, apartments, and golf courses) employ automatic sprinklers, and water in the middle of the night or in the wee hours of the morning before dawn when people are not out and about. The choice of timing is generally a matter of convenience……when are you home to water your lawn? Regardless of the answer, it is important to know the advantages and disadvantages of day versus nighttime watering.
Daybreak or just before dawn is the ideal time to water your lawn. Evaporation is at a minimum, and the rising sun will quickly dry the grass, reducing the likelihood of disease. Unfortunately, many of us have a day job to go to, and find it difficult at best, to go out in morning before work to get the hoses and sprinklers working. Daytime- Daytime is also a good time to water your lawn. You can pour on generous amounts and allow it to soak in. The blades of grass dry quickly, minimizing the risk of plant disease. The major disadvantage is it takes more water. Evaporation steals a portion of the water you apply, before it can soak in and reach the grass roots.
Nighttime- A lot of us choose nighttime and the hours just before dark for two reasons. First, is the simple fact that we are home. After dinner is the time many of us devote to caring for our lawns and yards. We also know that the water we apply will not be robbed by the sun through evaporation. The major disadvantage is plant disease thrives in wet, humid conditions. The water sits on the blades of grass all night, improving the breeding ground for disease. How much water does my lawn need and how often?
For best results, you should water your lawn deeply once or twice a week. Apply one to one and a half inches or water each time (approximately 20 minutes on each section of your lawn). Light, daily watering leaves too much water at or near the surface of the soil, and does not reach all of the roots where it is needed. Especially during a long dry period, your soil can act like a dry, hard sponge, and the water can run off of your property. Deep watering allows moisture to reach the deepest roots. Allowing the soil to dry between watering will encourage the roots to go deeper to reach the moisture and nutrients it needs. Daily, light watering will cause the roots of your grass to become dependent upon you to provide the water that it needs. So, train your lawn, before it trains you!