How Much and How Often
The right amounts of water delivered at the right times will help you have a beautiful and happy lawn. Proper watering is another key to helping your grass develop deeper roots. Deeper roots mean greener, stronger, more drought tolerant grass.
Most lawns and grass types in the Virginia Beach area will do well with 1 to 1-1/2 inches of water per week. Over watering is the most common mistake and can contribute to fungal growth, unwanted weeds, thatch buildup, insect pests, spongy soil, and oxygen deprived root systems. Under watering will result in browning, dry blades. It’s easy enough to measure how much water your lawn is getting by strategically placing a rain gauge or empty tuna can on your lawn.
Water Deep and Less Often
How and when that water gets delivered is as important as how much. The goal is to keep the soil moist about six inches below the surface. Deep moisture = deep roots. Some experts suggest applying the desired amount of water only once a week. Others recommend breaking it down to 3 times a week. Soil, grass type, and weather conditions will have some impact on which method would be best for your lawn.
Short and frequent watering will result in very shallow root systems and a weak lawn susceptible to weeds, drought, and disease.
If you’re unsure, 20 to 30 minutes in each zone 3 times a week is a good start. Go DEEP!
Earlier is Better
Early morning watering will allow the water to soak in before the sun starts beating down. During the hottest times of the day, you will lose a good amount of moisture to evaporation. Sprinkling late in the day will leave the surface soggy for longer periods and encourage disease and fungus growth.
Note: These watering tips are for established lawns. More frequent watering will be needed when starting seeds or new sod has been installed.