When is the Best Time to Water Your Lawn

Women programming the irrigation control panel

Spring is here! That means it’s time to get your lawn in shape. A lush, green lawn adds to the curb appeal of your home and provides a welcoming area for outdoor activities. Establishing and keeping a healthy lawn depends on proper moisture. Knowing when to start watering your lawn in the spring can set the stage for a happy, healthy grass all season long. Here are a few tips from our experts to help you make smart choices when watering.

When should I water my lawn?

When it comes to watering, earlier is better. “The best time of day to water your lawn is early in the morning,” says Alexis Deasy, senior marketing communications manager at Toro. “Typically, there is less wind and temperatures are cooler in the morning. That means less moisture is lost to evaporation or carried off in the breeze.” Watering later, during the heat of the day, can lead to evaporation. “If you water when it is hot and sunny, it’s estimated that up to 30% of the water is lost to evaporation,” adds Deasy. “That is just wasting the resource and your money.”

Experts warn against watering at night. Temperatures may be cooler at this time, but watering at night allows the moisture to sit on the leaves of grass and plants for too long. This can lead to disease and other problems for the lawn.

How much water does my lawn need?

One of the most common questions in lawn care is how long do I water my grass? From the type of grass you’re growing, to the slope of your landscape, many factors go into determining how much water your lawn needs. Climate, soil type and the age of your lawn play a role too. “Lawns need an average of 1- to 1.5  inches of water per week,” says Deasy. Determine how much water your sprinklers are delivering, place a shallow container in the lawn, then turn on the sprinkler and set a timer. “When you can measure an inch or so of water in the container, you’ll have the optimal time period to run the sprinkler.” Remember, that inch of moisture includes rainfall. If it rains, you won’t need to water as much.

Watering deeply, but infrequently is the most effective way to water your lawn. Deep watering encourages deep root growth, which creates healthy grass that is resilient and more drought resistant. “You want the top 6- to 8-inches of the turf to be moist after you water,” says Deasy.

How do I save water and still have a beautiful lawn?

One of the best ways to save water and still create a beautiful landscape is to water efficiently. Being smart about your water use can save you time and money as well as making the most of this natural resource.

If you water with an above-ground sprinkler, consider installing a timer. Timers can be set to shut off the system at specific intervals, meaning your sprinkler won’t continue watering if you forget to shut it off. Toro’s Bluetooth® Hose-End Timer can even be controlled from any device that uses Bluetooth 4.1 technology, so you can turn your sprinkler on or off from just about anywhere in the house or yard. Moving your above ground sprinklers frequently is important for delivering consistent moisture across the lawn.

If you have an in-ground irrigation system, one of the easiest ways to save water (and money) is to install a rain sensor. If mother nature is delivering the moisture your lawn needs, the rain sensor shuts the system off, virtually eliminating wasteful watering.

If your irrigation system is more than five years old, you should consider an upgrade. Just like your phone, computer and other home technology, recent innovations in timers, sprinkler heads and nozzles have come a long way in recent years. Newer products are more efficient and offer smart technology that can save water, time, and money. Look for products with Toro’s WaterSmart® distinction or with the EPAs WaterSense® certification. Developed with efficiency in mind, these irrigation tools reduce water waste while providing the greatest benefit to lawns and landscapes.

Start with your timer. Newer sprinkler timers are more intuitive to program and often have added features that make your entire system more efficient and water smart. Adjusting your watering schedule for seasonal weather conditions is easier than ever. As temperatures fluctuate through the seasons, changing the run times of your sprinklers can be essential for water savings and the health of your yard and gardens. Many controllers, such as Toro’s Lawn Master™ II Landscape Timer, offer a seasonal adjust feature that allows you to change the run time of all the zones in your irrigation program with just the touch of a button. This feature makes it easy to decrease the water schedule during cooler months and increase during the heat of the summer without having to reprogram.

Using the right sprinkler nozzles in your sprinkler heads is another way to save water while still having a lush and beautiful lawn. Newer, more efficient nozzles can reduce the amount of water your lawn and landscape needs. Technological advances, such as those found in Toro’s Precision™ Series Spray Nozzles can lower water usage by as much as 35%. These high efficiency nozzles use proprietary H2O chip technology to produce a high frequency oscillating stream that generates larger, more uniform water droplets. This uniformity, paired with a water delivery rate of 1 inch per hour is the most efficient way to give your lawn and landscape the moisture it needs.

When it comes to smart watering, don’t forget common sense. Make sure your sprinklers are adjusted correctly. Watering your sidewalks, driveway or the street is literally just sending water and money down the drain.

Want to learn more about WaterSmart® solutions? Visit: https://www.toro.com/en/watersmart

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