Watering your lawn – the dos and don’ts

Watering your lawn – the dos and don’ts

How do you know when to water your established lawn? It’s easy, water your grass when you see these three signs:

  1. Curled up leaf blades in the evening (wilting blades during the highest heat of midday sun is not a good indicator – always check the condition of the leaves in the evening).
  2. Blue-grey colour instead of green.
  3. Footprints or lawn mower tire tracks remain visible long after being made.

But remember none of the above signs indicate your lawn is about to die.

Your turf has the ability to turn brown and go dormant but stay alive for three to four weeks during periods of long dry.

If you live in an area with water restrictions, it is a good idea to let your grass go dormant between watering.

However, if you go for three to four-weeks without rain, water the grass long enough to moisten the top 12cm of soil – this keeps the grass alive.

Water at the right time

The best time to water your lawn is early in the morning before it gets hot.

Most of the water will be absorbed to the roots, and the grass blades will dry quickly, preventing disease problems.

The rule to remember is infrequent and deep watering in the early morning for 10 to 15 minutes is preferable for your lawn because the roots will only grow as deep as the most frequently available water supply.

There are further ways that you can reduce your overall Water usage,

Don’t mow your grass during droughts 

Mowed grass looses lots of moisture through cut blades and turns brown if you don’t water it.

During hot, dry summers don’t cut the grass until it rains two days in a row.

Cut at the highest recommended height for your grass. Taller grass, shades and cools the ground, reducing moisture loss.

In a drought, taller grass always stays greener longer than shorter grass. See our article Watering lawn during drought conditions.

New Lawn Watering

It is extremely important to water your new lawn during its establishment phase. For detailed watering instructions see our article – Watering a new lawn.

Other factors to consider

  • A healthy lawn needs good soil conditioning, such as aeration and fertiliser to survive.
  • If your lawn struggles, despite your best efforts, test your soil – ask your Local Garden Supplier for advice.
  • Cool, wet weather gives you a break from lawn watering.
  • If you have a sprinkler system set on an automatic timer, check it frequently so you can turn it off during times when it’s not needed.
  • A wide variety of grass species can be grown for lawns. Choose the type best suited for your region’s weather conditions. Some grass types are more drought tolerant, thanks to their deeper root systems.

If you are looking for a turf recommendation for your local climate, find guides for each city below.

Or check out our handy Quick Lawn Selection Guide.

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