I’m not sure if it is the case where you live, but in Ohio the last couple of months have been rainy! We have had water to spare and even broke an all time rainfall record in April (the previous was set in the 1860s). Nevertheless, there is still a chance that the rain might stop any day and not return for weeks. That very reason is why it is important to know why, when, and how to water your yard for the best results.
Watering your yard is a very important process. The water is not only vital for the plant to survive and complete photosynthesis, but water is also the reason that plants don’t all lay on the ground. The pressure of water inside the cell wall of plants is what causes it stay upright. Once the water starts to leave the cell, then the plant starts to wilt or droop. The image below helps to explain:
- Now complete photosynthesis correctly and turn brown.
- Will not have the cell pressure to stand upright and will lay flat on the ground – and be nearly impossible to mow or dethatch.
The age old questions of when to water has been ongoing for years. Whether you water in the morning or the evening is entirely up to you, but it is commonly accepted to never water in the day time. Daytime water is bad for two reasons. The first is that more of your water will evaporate before it reaches the grass, making watering your lawn an inefficient process. The second reason is that as water droplets sit on the blades of grass they are acting a magnifier of the sun’s rays and in turn are scorching or burning the blades of grass, and killing your grass. So stay away from day time waterings and stick to the early morning or later evening.
Once again, this is a personal preference. There are a number of methods to water, and tools to use to water. You can use a fan sprinkler, rotary sprinkler or purchase a whole sprinkler system that does all the work for you. Any of the options will work fine, and some even offer certain advantages based on your yard size, shape and the time you have in your day.
How long you water and how often is a bit more of an ambiguous question. Alot of people water in the morning everyday that it does not rain for about 15-30 minutes. This allows the ground to get a good soaking of water. This method does work well and people get some good results with this method.
Another school of thought suggests you to water only a couple times per week and water for a long time during those periods. If you choose to go this route, it is important to remember that you may need to employ a method or watering known as soak and wait. The soak and wait method is exactly what it sounds like. Based on the amount of water in the ground, you will start to oversupply the ground with water and instead of soaking the water in it will start to allow the water to run off. When the water starts to run off and not soak in, it is time to stop and wait for 30 minutes or so.
However you choice to water, just remember that it is an important component in lawn care and that it can get expensive. It might be wise to check with your local water provider and see if they offer a deduct meter (which is a great device that can save a decent amount on your water bills, but does require a plumber to install).