Jul 23 2018
By Nick Bennett
Do you know the best time of day to water your lawn? Is it something you ever think about, or do you just turn the sprinkler on and forget it – possibly wondering why you’re not seeing the lush, beautiful landscape you’re hoping for?
Summer weather can vary greatly, and that can have a big impact on what happens to your lawn. Irrigation needs are ever-changing, and depend a lot on the season and what is happening with the weather. For example, on Cape Cod, one week might experience rain several times over a few days with temperatures hovering around 75. The next two weeks could be dry, without a rain shower and high temperatures above 80. Obviously, these changes can have an impact on the grass you are watering. That seems like common sense, but you’d be surprised how many people forget to account for these factors when setting up their irrigation.
The location of the lawn is important. Is the lawn in full sun most of the day or are there times of shade? On a hill? Those are factors that can increase the irrigation needed due to evaporation loss. Areas that are especially sunny or on sloping ground may require additional watering due to their evaporation loss in order to prevent drought stress.
Time of day is important too. A common misconception is that watering during the day burns your lawn, but the fact is that the soil often does not have a chance to absorb much of the water which causes wilting. Generally speaking, watering around dusk or pre-dawn hours will allow for the best water penetration and absorption by the lawn. It also limits water loss due to evaporation. Watering during the day will not hurt your lawn, but rather your wallet! Watering during the day can help in regulating soil temperatures, and increase water absorption for the next watering cycle, but it is not the ideal time of day to water and should be primarily a supplement to your regular watering schedule if needed. You should also keep in mind that the lower temperatures during the morning, and the lack of radiant sun, will limit the levels of evaporation you see and help you achieve better results.
There’s a lot of circumstances to consider, and that can make a watering schedule tricky. If you take the time to understand your climate and the areas of your lawn, it doesn’t have to be. Make sure you’re knowledgeable about sunlight, shade, and the natural terrain of your lawn and scheduling irrigation can be easy. Don’t forget to schedule a mid-summer inspection of your system to check for clogged heads or heads that are out of adjustment. If you need help understanding your lawn and how to make it more beautiful, just ask! We’re here to help and can advise you.