Turf Care: Tips on Watering Your Lawn

Your lawn, like garden plants, needs water to thrive and stay healthy. The amount of water it needs will depend on weather conditions. However, you should water your lawn immediately after fertilising to reduce the chance of burning the grass.

It is recommended you water newly installed turf frequently. The turf should receive 25mm water daily. When the grass has rooted into the soil (usually 10 – 14 days) the lawn should receive 25mm of water per week.

Once established your lawn will still need to be watered.
Always water your lawn immediately after fertilising to reduce the chance of burning the grass.

How often should I water?
How often you water your lawn will depend on the turf variety and the weather.

Slight wilting or footprinting (when the grass doesn’t rebound after walking on it) are indications that the lawn needs watering.

Deep infrequent watering will help the grass develop strong root systems that can extract water from a much larger volume of soil compared to the shallow roots associated with frequent light watering.

How much water should I use?
The amount of water required will depend on the soil type and the wetness of the soil. The preferred method is to thoroughly wet the soil to a depth of 150mm. After watering, sink a shovel into the soil and spread the hole so you can see how far the water has penetrated.

How long should I leave my sprinklers on?
The best way to determine how long you should leave you sprinklers on is by putting out some catch cups (available from hardware and irrigation suppliers) on the area you are watering.

Leave your sprinklers on for a set period and then measure how many millimetres of water was collected. Then calculate how long the sprinklers need to be left on to provide the amount of water you want to apply.  Set the timers accordingly.

What time of day is the best to water?
The most efficient time to water lawns is in the early morning hours from 4 am to 8 am .  Watering at this time means less water is lost to evaporation due to lower temperature and less sunlight.

Watering in the evening should be avoided because if the lawn goes into the night time wet, they will remain wet for extended periods of time. This may favour the growth and development of certain turf diseases.