One of the best ways to keep your lawn healthy and beautiful is by duly fulfilling its watering needs.
Besides mowing, watering is a very crucial lawn care practice and should be followed according to the needs of your lawn.
Most homeowners struggle with lawn watering because they tend to either over-water their lawn or underwater it.
An under-watered lawn will result in dry soil, discolored grass and leaves, wilting plants, and slow growth.
On the other hand, an overwatered lawn will lead to soil compaction, brown patch disease, and the growth of fungus in your lawn.
Overwatering is one of the most common lawn watering mistakes made by a majority of homeowners because of two main reasons.
Firstly, they don’t know when their lawn needs to be watered, and secondly, they lack proper knowledge and control over the sprinkler system that is installed in their lawns.
However, there are numerous ways to keep a check on your lawn’s watering needs. Also, with proper control of the sprinkler systems, you can prevent your lawn from being overwatered.
How to Know If Your Lawn Needs Water?
Some of the major and most obvious signs that suggest that your lawn needs watering are wilting leaf blades, noticeable footprints in the grass, and dull, blue-gray colored grass.
To elaborate on that, here’s how you can tell that your lawn needs to be watered.
Gaps in the Soil
In case you’ve never noticed this before, when lawns don’t get enough water, the soil starts to shrink significantly. It’s exactly similar to how a sponge shrinks when it is in a dry state.
The right way to test the soil in your lawn for gaps is by walking along the sidewalk and looking for any obvious spaces.
If you notice visible gaps between the turfs and your lawn, it’s a sign that your lawn is experiencing heat stress and isn’t receiving enough water.
Lack of water is the main reason for these gaps, where you will also notice that the grass is starting to dry out.
Footprints on the Lawn
One of the easiest and most common ways of checking your lawn’s water needs is the footprint test. All you need to do is walk across your lawn every 4-5 days and look out for visible ‘footprints.’
If your footprints last for a few minutes to hours after you’ve walked over your lawn, it’s a sign that the lawn is dehydrated and stressed.
This mainly happens at times when your lawn isn’t getting enough water; the grass loses its elasticity, which is very important for it to be able to bounce back to its prior shape after walking on it.
Dry Bed Edges
This probably goes without saying; dryness is one of the most common indicators of a dehydrated lawn that needs to be watered.
If the edges around your landscape bed appear to be rough and dried out, it’s time for you to water your lawn.
How Often Should You Water Your Lawn During Summer/Winter?
When it comes to lawn watering, another aspect that confuses most homeowners is the number of times that one should water their lawn on average during the year.
While watering is undoubtedly one of the most crucial aspects of a healthy, plush lawn, interestingly, it greatly differs according to the season, that is, summer and winter.
On average, you need to give your lawn at least 1”-1 ½” of water per week throughout the whole year.
Instead of watering daily, it’s best to water deeply about two or three times per week. However, the water needs of your lawn are different in the summer and winter months.
During the summer months, when the temperatures are considerably higher, a lush, green, and healthy lawn greatly depends on proper watering techniques.
Lawn watering in summers isn’t very different from the average watering requirements, which are 2-3 times a week.
However, there are a few essential watering tips you should follow, particularly in the summer season, in order to keep your lawn in the best possible condition.
Timing is of the utmost importance when watering your lawn during the summer months.
The afternoon is the worst time to water your lawn because the water will evaporate under the scorching heat of the sun before it even reaches the roots of the soil.
Early morning is the ideal time for lawn watering because the temperature tends to be a tad cooler during that part of the day. This allows the soil to absorb all the nutrients, and it also gives the turf enough time to dry out throughout the day.
Since the summer season may or may not bring rainfall with it depending on where you live, it is best to water your lawn deeply every 2-3 days for optimum results.
Make sure to provide your lawn with at least one-third an inch of water in order to prevent dehydration as well as to maintain deeper roots.
Your lawn is likely to become dormant during the winter season, particularly when the weather temperature drops below 30 degrees Fahrenheit consistently.
In such times, you won’t need your lawnmower or the hose and sprinkler, so it’s best that you store all the lawn equipment in a freeze-free area.
When the temperature moves above freezing point and the cold become a little more bearable, you still won’t need to water your lawn because occasional rain and snow will provide your lawn with all the moisture and water that it needs to stay healthy and green.
However, if you feel that it isn’t raining or snowing as much, you can water your lawn in winters, but make sure that you don’t do it more than once a week because that can seriously damage your lawn.
This is because more than once will lead to overwatering since the grass and plants in your lawn tend to lose less moisture in cold and moderate temperatures as compared to when the weather is hot.
Benefits of Lawn Sprinklers
Lawn sprinklers are one of the most popularly used watering devices that you’re likely to find installed in most homeowners’ lawns.
From convenience to efficiency, a sprinkler system comes with many benefits. Sprinklers are also one of the best options when it comes to delivering a sufficient amount of water to your entire lawn in one go.
This especially true for people who have large lawns where having an automatic lawn sprinkler is actually quite a necessity.
Here are some of the top benefits of having a sprinkler system installed in your lawn.
The convenience factor is probably the main reason why homeowners invest in quality sprinkler systems.
Most modern sprinklers come with an in-built automatic function that allows you to pre-set the timer on the system.
Whenever it is time to water your lawn, all you need to do is set the required timer, which will automatically activate the system.
This greatly saves your time and energy by preventing you from walking all over your lawn and dragging a water hose behind you.
Even Water Distribution
Another great benefit of lawn sprinklers is that if placed properly, they ensure an even water distribution all across your lawn.
Each section of your yard receives an adequate and well-distributed supply of water, which keeps your entire lawn equally hydrated, fresh, and green.
The key is to install the sprinkler system strategically such that the watering is more even and uniform.
Thanks to technological advancements, a majority of recent modern lawn sprinkler systems come with soil, water, and weather sensors that are able to deliver just the right amount of water to your lawn.
This greatly helps prevent wastage of water. Also, via this method, your law gets watered only when needed.
Another amazing thing about these sensors is that they can also sense rain and weather changes.
What this does is that it skips the scheduled watering timer that you probably set earlier.
This, in turn, prevents over-saturating your lawn and ensures that it receives the exact amount of water that it really needs.
For someone who has a big, beautiful lawn, one of their biggest concerns is how to water their lawn when they are out of town or when they’ve gone on a vacation, for instance.
Lawn sprinklers easily solve this problem with the help of their auto-pilot function.
All you need to do is set the timer for the days when you want to water your lawn.
So, while the sprinkler system does the job for you, you can relax without having to worry about lawn watering!
If there’s one thing that ruins the overall look and appeal of your lawn, it is a long garden hose that stretches all across the length of your lawn.
Many homeowners don’t prefer putting away the hose after each watering session because it is a great hassle to bring it out 2-3 times every week and then keep it back. This looks highly unattractive, to say the least.
Lawn sprinklers, on the other hand, have great aesthetic features that do a great job of making your lawn look green and healthy.
Most modern sprinkler systems have an automatic function through which the sprinkler heads pop outwards when it is time to water the lawn.
Once they are done watering your lawn, the sprinkler heads recede in the ground and disappear till the next watering session.
Water, Money and Time Consumption
Although sprinklers are very expensive, the high price is worth it because they have great financial benefits attached to them.
If you have an in-ground sprinkler system in your lawn, it can increase the property value of your home easily by an average of 15 percent.
Additionally, sprinklers save a lot of water by using just the right amount, which, in turn, helps save a lot of money on your water bill.
Compared to using a manual hose, sprinklers are more time and cost-effective in the long run.
Safe to Use
Long water hoses prove to be quite a health and tripping hazard, especially if you have pets and children who like playing the lawn.
Lawn sprinklers, on the other hand, are extremely safe in that regard because their heads are underground, and they only come up when the lawn needs to be watered.
How to Set Up Your Lawn Sprinklers?
Installing lawn sprinklers requires quite a lot of work, and it is a very time-consuming process.
However, it is worth all the trouble and work because once you have successfully installed a sprinkler in your lawn, watering your lawn will become as easy as flipping a switch!
Here is an easy step-by-step guide on how to set up and install your lawn sprinklers.
Step 1: Make a Plan
Since sprinklers are installed under the ground, it is important for you to know the location of buried cables in your yard.
For this, you need to know the size of your yard, which will also help you determine the coverage that will be provided by the sprinklers.
It is ideal to map out a plan with a rough diagram on a piece of paper where you can point out the location of the sprinkler heads as well as what types of sprinklers you will need and where.
Similarly, do the same on the lawn and mark the places where the sprinklers will be installed.
Step 2: Gather All Supplies
The next step is for you to gather all the supplies that you are likely to use when installing the sprinkler system.
Other than the parts of the sprinkler system itself, you will need a shovel because you will have to dig up the ground at some point during the installation process.
Step 3: Access the Water Line
Now that you have the plan and supplies ready, the next step is to access the waterline by tapping into the main water-service line of your home.
The ideal way to have a water supply ready for your sprinkler is by using an existing water tap or water line.
Step 4: Dig Trenches
With the help of a rental trenching device, also known as a ‘vibratory plow,’ dig 6” to 8” deep trenches and mark the sprinkler locations with the help of flags.
When digging, make sure to have all the soil on one side and the sod on the other side in order to fill it up later without any problem.
Step 5: Assemble and Install the Valve Manifold
At this point, dig a hole that is a little bigger than the valve manifold box. Place it in the hole and then hook it to your water supply line.
Make sure that you secure it properly by tightening the clamps.
Step 6: Place PVC Pipes
Take the PVC pipe and lay it along the trench and connect one end to the open side of the valve manifold.
Continue laying the pipe as you cover every marked location for the sprinkler and keep gluing the sections as you go along.
Step 7: Flush the System
Once you have the pipe well-assembled, connecting one sprinkler to the other, the next step is to manually flush the system in order to remove any dirt or debris that may have gotten stuck inside the pipes.
Step 8: Attach the Sprinklers
Now is the time to install the sprinkler heads in the ground, and at this point, make sure that are according to the level of the soil.
Once that is done, fill the trenches with all the dirt and sod that you dug up earlier.
Step 9: Check the Timer
The timer is the main feature that controls everything about the watering process, from the length to the frequency.
Connect the wires of the timer according to the instruction manual that came with it. Make sure to also connect it to the main water line.
Step 10: Test the Sprinklers
The last thing you need to do is a test run on the sprinklers by using the timer to control the valves.
Many all the adjustments and alterations, if any, and once everything in well-place, bury the pipe underground.
How Much is Too Much?
As mentioned previously, your lawn needs at least 1”- 1 ½” of water per week throughout the whole year on average.
Anything above this will come under ‘excess water’ and will simply result in overwatering your lawn.
Try to keep the water supply according to the requirements of your lawn, as well as according to the season of the year.
Lawn sprinklers can prove to be an excellent investment if you learn how to use them properly and if you know how to control them.
For a fresh, healthy, and green lawn, it is essential that you take special care of its watering needs and give it just the right amount of water.
Lawn watering might come off as a daunting task to you; however, when done right, it can do absolute wonders for your lawn!