In short the simple answer is try not to water your lawn and let nature take its course.
We know it may be hot on these summer days in the U.K but don’t think you need to run out and grab the hose pipe. Grass has the magic power of going to sleep when it becomes very dry, unlike most other plants it will come alive when moisture levels increase.
However there are times that watering your grass can be an advantage such in extreme drought conditions, to allow fast recover from damage or renovations to the grass. You can tell if your grass has been hit by drought conditions if it fails the ‘Bounce Back Test’. This test is when grass stays flat after it has been stepped on rather than bouncing back. This is due to the grass losing water and the blades become less ridged and wilt.
At The Grass People we recommend you water infrequently during drought conditions but when you do give the grass a good soaking. By infrequently we mean allowing the soil to get really dry, the grass to get thirsty with even a little yellow tinge and has failed our ‘Bounce Back Test’.
Top tips for lawn watering in drought conditions
Water between 10 -14 days apart
Soak the lawn - You should see minor puddles on the surface
Water the grass during cooler periods - evening or night time
Avoid watering during hot periods of the day – most of the water will evaporate
With areas of lawn which don’t get much sun – don’t soak them as much.
Tip: Rain water is much more nutritious than tap water as it contains higher levels of nitrogen ultimately boosting growth. If you can’t let nature take its course consider getting a watering butt to collect rain water throughout the year and spread on the lawn with a watering can when required.
A word of warning
If you water your lawn either regularly or lightly shallow roots may be produced which in times of drought causes increased stress on the grass. Too much water also encourages weed growth and greater chance of disease.