A good watering routine helps to maintain your lawn, but it’s important to know how much is too much, or you could end up with a bayou!
Despite the British weather often putting a damp spell on our summers; it’s not uncommon for lawns to become dehydrated and suffer from drought throughout the drier months.
What to look out for
Watering a lawn isn’t a set routine which can be applied to every garden from Perth to Plymouth; it can depend on a number of factors and may vary significantly from garden to garden. The main factors to consider are location, soil type, shade and other things that may be present such as tree roots, however it’s best to look at a few key things when assessing whether your lawn needs a top up. The first sign of dehydration is when grass begins to lose it’s ‘springiness’ and is very flat after being walked on, but the most obvious thing to look out for is when grass begins to yellow. If there’s no rain being forecast any time soon then it may be time to water and if done correctly your lawn should bounce back almost immediately.
If you’ve just sown a brand-new lawn, making sure the grass has access to plenty of water is vital to ensure successful germination and establishment. It’s often assumed that light, regular watering is the best way to hydrate young grass, but the opposite is actually true. Heavy and irregular watering helps grass develop deep root systems whilst also reducing the chance of diseases and weeds making an appearance. Water daily for the first six weeks after sowing, although care should be taken to avoid over-watering.
Once grass is fully established or if you’ve already got an existing lawn, then regular watering isn’t always necessary, especially with our UK weather. During particularly hot and prolonged periods of weather or drought conditions - you should re-adopt a watering routine. You can read more about that here.
The aim of watering is to keep your soil moist so that your seeds have adequate access to the water they need to boost their growth. This can mean providing 1 1/2 inches of watering to your seedbed. If the water pools on the surface immediately after watering, do not be concerned. However, if it is still visible hours later then you may have over watered. If your soil drinks up the water extremely quickly (especially in periods of drought) you may need to water more.
What to use
People use a range of methods and equipment when applying water to their lawns and these can vary from a simple watering can to a Wembley-worthy sprinkler system. This depends a lot on practicality and personal preference, a watering can will do a fine job but using it on a 500m2 lawn may not be the most practical method, so static or rotary sprinklers are usually a worthwhile investment. The important thing to remember is that regardless of the tools used, following the tips above will help you maintain a good watering routine.