Cultural Practices - Water Management and Lawn Watering Tips


Watering a lawn can be one of the most critical steps toward having a thick, lush bed of turfgrass. But most homeowners are unaware of the correct water management practices for their lawns. The ideal amount of water a particular lawn needs depends on a number of different factors, from the geography and climate to the turf species involved.

Turfgrass needs moisture for growth and development. In fact,  between 75% to 80% of a turfgrass plant is water. Every species of turfgrass relies on water for:

  • Transporting nutrients, plant foods and other organic compounds in the plant
  • Keeping turf cool (evaporation)
  • Maintaining firm plant cells and improving wear tolerance.
  • Seed germination
  • A healthy soil that improves thatch decomposition

Knowing when to water a lawn can be tricky, especially if you are unfamiliar with common indicators that reveal if a lawn is in need of watering. While failing to provide your lawn with enough moisture for essential growth and development functions is a bad water management practice, over-watering a lawn can be equally detrimental. Only a trained lawn care professional can know exactly when and how much to water your lawn. However, there are a few indicators you should be aware of.

Lawn Watering Tips:

  • If a screwdriver can easily be pushed into the soil, it has enough water.
  • Provide enough additional moisture so that the lawn gets 1 inch of water per week from rainfall and watering combined.
  • Start watering prior to symptoms of drought stress, which include wilting, foot printing, or a bluish-gray color to your lawn.
  • Water your lawn infrequently, but deeply; soil should be moist to 4 – 6 inches.
  • Water your lawn early in the morning if possible, so the turf dries during the day. This avoids prolonged wetness that favors disease.
  • Watering during the heat of the day will not damage grass, but some water will be lost to evaporation.
  • If water begins puddling before 1 inch has been applied, wait until the puddling has been absorbed, then finish watering.

Scotts LawnService is the trusted industry leader for professional quality lawn care. Our exclusive lawn care products include premium grass seeds and professional-grade fertilizers; our lawn service teams are comprised of highly trained, industry-certified professionals. Contact a representative today for lawn care services available in your area and to learn how you can enjoy a lush, thicker lawn that only Scotts LawnService can deliver.