What time is the best time to water a lawn? According to experts, early morning is prime: low wind, low temperatures, and the grass has all day to use the water. Midday gets warm and windy leading to high water loss. Watering in the evening creates a cool, moist environment overnight which encourages fungus and mold to grow.

How much more water?

This data from the Water Department shows a seasonal pattern of water being used by residents. That water isn’t going down the drain to the Wastewater Treatment Plant so it is most likely being used outside.

Where is the water going?

People set out their hose or turn on their sprinkler system and then just let them run. Some of that water lands on the house, a fence, the sidewalk, or a car. Hard surfaces don’t grow when you water them – make sure you are watering your lawn.

easy way to boost growth

One way improve your lawn’s use of water is to

  1. aerate 
  2. top-dress with good soil
  3. spread with rake

This makes space in the ground for air to circulate, roots to grow, and water to soak in. The top-dressing provides natural fertilizer and working it into the aerated lawn puts good nutrients right where the roots need them most.

Don't schedule watering

Sprinkler systems make it easy to waste water. Broken sprinkler heads can send hundreds of gallons down the storm drain. Leaking lines can kill the yard. Using the automatic schedule leads to sprinklers running in the rain. 

Check your system monthly (minimum) for broken heads. Adjust heads so they’re not hitting hard surfaces. Turn off the ‘auto’ and only run the system when your lawn needs watered. 

Easy way to check moisture

So how do you know if your lawn needs water? If you walk across it and can still see your footprints, the grass is thirsty. If you poke a screwdriver into the ground and it comes out dry (like a toothpick in a pan of brownies), the soil needs a drink. UNL Extension explains further:

One last quick water tip: don’t cut your lawn so short. Raise the deck of your mower. The taller grass creates shaded soil which keeps weeds from growing and helps the soil hold onto moisture longer.

You’ll have a lush lawn and use less water.

Screenshot 2024 05 08 091502