Keen gardeners strive to get the lushest, healthiest-looking lawn in their street. Sometimes, the elements conspire against us, resulting in dry, yellowing grass.
Will watering grass make it greener, and are there any other ways to improve the health of lawns, are just some of the questions that we hope to answer.
Watering grass does improve the quality and colour of a fading lawn. The frequency and amount of watering impact its condition, as does the time of day.
Establishing a watering regime is rewarded with consistently green and luscious grass all summer long. Combining good supplementary watering with other lawn care practices results in green and luscious grass all YEAR long.
Why grass needs water
Water transports vital nutrients and dissolved sugars from the soil, through each blade of grass.
Without the proper balance of water, grass becomes malnourished, droops, and fades.
Conversely, too much water drowns the roots, causing them to rot.
The best watering practices for greener grass
Rainfall alone is usually enough for grass to survive. But if you want consistently green grass, then you’re going to have to do some additional watering.
What time of day is best to water your garden?
When the sun is off the garden, early morning is best, but if that isn’t possible, then wait until evening.
If the sun has been beating down and you have a sprinkler on a timer, set it somewhere between 10 pm and 6 am; less water gets lost to evaporation in the cooler night air.
How much water does my lawn need?
It depends on the climate, the age of the lawn, and the type of soil. Sandy soil drains quicker than clay; overwatering clay will leave you with a water-logged, soggy mess.
As a general rule of thumb, lawns need 1-2” of water weekly.
It is better to water deeply and less often to prevent drowning the roots and creating rot or disease.
Watering twice-weekly encourages strong, deep roots, promoting lush, healthy grass.
Leave a container beneath the flow of your sprinkler and measure frequently until the water reaches 1″. You should get a rough idea as to how long to leave the sprinkler running. A more accurate method involves the peak water flow of your sprinkler and the area of lawn.
Will watering a well-established lawn make the grass green?
Following a watering regime as detailed above will improve the colour, health, and quality of any lawn; when done in conjunction with other best practises for green grass.
Newly-laid turf is an exception to the rule. To encourage new roots to grow deep and bond with the soil, it is advised to water twice daily for the first week. Reducing the frequency over the next month should result in lush, green grass.
Other ways to make the grass greener
Grass needs a combination of things to keep it in tip-top condition; a regular water supply is just one of them. Sunlight, nutrients, and good-quality soil also encourage a lawn to thrive.
Sunlight – Healthy grass needs at least 4-5 hours of sun a day to grow. Although this is mostly beyond our control, when laying a new lawn, avoid shaded areas.
Cutting techniques – Cut lawns regularly, but only when they’re dry to avoid clumping and clogging. Maintain a sharp blade; avoid hacking at the grass, and travel in varying directions. These methods prevent the grass from leaning and encourages healthy, upright growth.
Be wary of cutting the grass too short; weeds struggle to germinate or grow beneath the shade of slightly longer grass.
Aeration – Poking a series of tiny holes in the lawn loosens the soil, which, in turn, allows nutrients, oxygen, and water to reach the roots faster, giving your grass the best opportunity of staying green all year round.
Weedkillers and fertiliser – avoid over-fertilising your lawn, the grass becomes forced and reduced quality. Instead, fertilise annually, autumn is best. If the grass needs further treatment, the second application in spring is advisable.
Buy the appropriate product for your lawn and soil type and look for natural a fertiliser, they’re better for the grass, and the environment.
There is no quick-fix to heal a dry lawn, but given time, regular watering will make the grass green and healthy.
Spending time perfecting watering techniques is worthwhile, particularly when you become the envy of your neighbours with the healthiest, greenest grass, all year long.