Summer Lawn Watering Tips

When, How Much & What to Use


We’re in the final few weeks of summer. How’s your lawn holding up? Between the heat and unstable weather patterns, it may not be getting all the water it needs. Follow these summer lawn watering tips to help ensure your yard is properly hydrated.

Signs Your Lawn Needs Water

All living things show signs of dehydration. Mouths get dry, pets start to pant, and plants start to droop. If you notice your lawn showing any of the following, it’s time to give it a drink:

  • Dull green color
  • Grayish cast
  • After walking on it, footprints don’t disappear right away because dry grass blades don’t bounce back as quickly.

Summer Lawn Watering Tips

When it comes to watering your lawn, there are a few factors that could lead to lush grass or damaging disease. Not only should you pay attention to how much you’re watering your lawn, but when you water also plays an important role. The type of grass you’re growing and the area you live in also need to be considered before breaking out the sprinklers. Keep the following in mind and increase the chances of maintaining a healthy lawn all season long.

How Much Water is Enough

Whether you’re using a sprinkler, hose, or irrigation system, knowing how much to water your lawn is important. Overwatering is not only a waste, but it could also damage your yard, especially if there’s poor drainage. Of course, not watering enough could also dry up the grass, soil, and roots. On average, lawns need about an inch of water per week. This is usually deep enough to soak the soil where the roots are growing.

There are a few ways to tell if you’ve watered enough:

  • Time it. Place empty cans around your lawn and see how long it takes to collect about an inch of water.
  • Measure it. While you’re watering, check at regular intervals to see how fast it takes to soak about six inches of soil. Use this as a parameter for timing sprinkler and irrigation systems.
  • Notice it. While you’re watering the lawn, if you notice puddles starting to form, you know you should water in shorter cycles.

When to Water the Lawn

When you water the lawn is just as important as how much you water. The time of day also makes watering more or less efficient. Watering during the hottest part of the day causes the water to evaporate quickly. Watering at night doesn’t give your lawn enough time to dry, meaning you could be inviting fungal disease. It’s best to water in the morning when it’s cooler so that the soil can soak up more water for the roots to absorb.

Watering Different Types of Lawns

New lawns, old lawns, cool-season grasses, warm-season grasses — every different type of lawn has a different set of requirements. Newly seeded lawns need more attention, especially during that critical first year. The top inch of soil should stay moist until the seeds germinate. Then, keep the top two inches hydrated until the grass is a few inches high. Cut back the watering after that, but still maintain moisture about eight inches deep for the roots to fully develop.

Some cool-season grasses, like tall fescue, are more tolerant to drought. Others will go dormant and turn brown if not watered. However, they’re likely to bounce back after a good soaking. Warm-season grasses require less water than their cooler counterparts, but they still need regular attention.

Summer Lawn Watering Tools

There are many ways to water your lawn. Put down the watering can and check out these handy helpers.

  • Pulsating sprinklers shoot water horizontally and aren’t as affected by windy conditions.
  • Hose-end sprinklers are well-suited for small- to medium-size lawns.
  • In-ground sprinklers are one of the most efficient tools since they’re low to the ground and use a horizontal spray pattern.
  • Smart watering systems can be integrated with in-ground sprinkler systems and easily scheduled, monitored, and controlled through a smartphone app.

For more summer lawn watering tips and tools, contact Cardinal Lawns. Help keep your lawn hydrated through the summer and it will reward you with a soft, lush place to enjoy the outdoors.


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