Lawn Sprinkler Maintenance Tips: Best Ways to Water Your Lawn
I’m warning you, this article is a bit cheeky. I’m not being mean, it’s just that we at GreenIQ take lawn maintenance and watering very seriously! It’s our duty to make lawn irrigation as simple and efficient as possible—in fact, everything I’m about to cover can be automated with our IoT solution. At the end of the day, we’re saddened to see beautiful lawns needlessly turn dry, brown, and rotten due to poor upkeep. The remedy is easy, we promise. With that in mind, listen carefully:
When? Three Times A Week In The Mornings.
We recommend that homeowners water as early as possible in the morning, preferably between 6:00 am to 10:00 am when wind speeds are low, the sun is less intense, and your lawn has a full day to dry. In the early morning, there’s less of a chance that the hot midday sun evaporates all the water delivered by your sprinklers, which would only require you to water again and unnecessarily waste resources. What’s more, watering in the early morning encourages photosynthesis, a process that stimulates plant growth by converting sunlight and water into energy and food—guaranteeing that your lawn remains happy and healthy.
It’s alright to water in the late afternoon as well between 4:00 and 7:00pm because the sun is not as hot and there’s less evaporation, but whatever you do, don’t water your lawn at night! Because there’s no sun to dry your lawn, the excess water on the leaf blades invites all sorts of fungi, mildew, and plant diseases—especially since most leaf diseases thrive in wet, damp environments.
Lastly, don’t make the mistake most homeowners do and turn your sprinklers on everyday. It’s best to water your lawn deeply just 2 to 3 times a week, rather than watering shallowly and more frequently. There’s two reasons for this: first, your lawn only needs to receive about 1 to 1½ inches of water a week and watering 3 times a week for about 20-30 minutes should accomplish that. Second, watering more frequently and shallowly discourages deep rooting, which is necessary for a healthy, drought-resistant lawn. If your lawn’s roots are deep, they will be able to retain water for much longer. But if they’re shallow, they will dry out quickly and weaken your lawn.
Where? Away From The Pavement.
It should be obvious, but unfortunately this is such a problem in the US that it needs to be said: you need make sure that you keep your sprinkler heads about 4 to 6 inches from the edge of sidewalks, curbs, patios, driveways, etc. There’s always that one house on the block (hopefully, it’s not you) that has their sprinklers aimed at the street. But no matter how much you water the pavement, I promise you, it won’t grow.
How? In Short Cycles.
Often, homeowners program their sprinklers to water their lawn for one long period of time because that’s what their automated timer is set to do. But it’s actually more efficient to program your sprinklers to water your lawn in a few short cycles instead, waiting about a half hour to an hour in between each one. It’s called cycle-soak irrigation and its proven by expert research to conserve water and keep plants thriving and green. For example, if you typically water your lawn for about 20-30 minutes (which is the recommended time), then try watering for 6 minutes then turning the sprinklers off and letting the water soak into the grass for about an hour. Then, turn the water back on and repeat this until you hit a total watering period of about 20 minutes.
Here’s a good way to determine if your lawn is dry and needs the next round of watering: walk on it and check if you can see your footprints. If you can, it’s dry and it’s time to water again. Also, check the color: if it’s dry, the grass should have changed from a vivid green to a dull, grayish blue.
Why? Save Water And Money.
In the end, these tips help reduce runoff and ensure your lawn remains strong and healthy. In a typical home, runoff (which means that sprinklers are delivering so much water so rapidly that the lawn can’t absorb it quickly enough) can reach up to 30% to 40% of wasted sprinkler water! Think of the wasted money. And worse, think of the fungal growth, disease problems, and shallow rooting you’ll have to worry about. (That’s more money down the drain, by the way).
Now, that wasn’t so bad, was it?
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