There are many different things you can do to get your lawn looking its best, from weed and feed treatments, regular mowing and even talking to your grass will help it to grow. No really talking helps your plants grow.

But the one key ingredient for your lawn or any plant is WATER. Without it plants will not survive, and even your very resilient little grass blades can die off if left too long without a good drink.

But what if it’s rained a lot or if there is rain due? Can you over water your grass and what’s the best way to do it?

Do I need to water the lawn?

The simple answer is no you don’t! We are lucky enough to live in a pretty wet country, it seems barely a day goes by without at least a shower or two. This means that usually your lawn can get all of the moisture it needs naturally from the soil. 

Great! But what about when we do get a dry spell?

Grass roots only tend to occupy the top two or three inches of soil. If the temperatures are high and the top layer of soil dries out the plant may not be able to get sufficient water.

Grasses are incredibly tough plants, when it dries out they can go into a hibernation mode. The plant goes dormant and the leaves turn brown and appear to die back. However when the rain does return the grass plant magically comes to life again, sending out new shoots and recovering to its former glory very rapidly indeed.

Even better. I don’t need to water my lawn!

Well no, you might still need to water your lawn. If there is a drought and it lasts a long time, some grass may actually permanently die back. Meaning seeding will be required when the moisture does return.

Furthermore, when the grass is brown, far tougher species such as weeds can get their feet in the door, taking root in your once weed free lawn. To make it worse the old brown grass leaves will form more thatch in the lawn, which in turn can lead to more moss. You may find your prize lawn is now a weedy, mossy mess.

How frequently should I water my lawn?

You need to give your lawn a good soak once a week. Watering your lawn for a couple of minutes every evening can have a detrimental effect. A small dose of water will not penetrate the soil and will stay in the top few millimeters of soil. The roots will not go down to look for the water, causing the grass to become weak and shallow rooted. This weak grass will be more susceptible to weeds and wear.

So, a good soak once a week will saturate the soil and encourage the roots to go down looking for moisture. Deeper roots mean a tougher healthier plant. 

How much water is a good soak?

A general rule of thumb is that a lawn needs around an inch of water once per week for optimal growth. A simple method is to place an empty tuna can under the sprinkler ( or any container with straight sides will do). When this has filled up to depth of an inch, turn the sprinkler off. That will be enough for the next week.

When is the best time to water my garden?

Early morning is one of the best times to water your lawn. This is when it’s at its coolest and less moisture will be lost to evaporation. Early afternoon works as well but don’t be tempted to water too late in the evening. If water is left on the grass in dark, humid conditions is the perfect environment for fungus such as red thread to form. Very quickly your lawn may be covered in unsightly brown marks, which will look as bad as a dry lawn. Allow sufficient time for the grass to dry out before dark if watering in the evening.

Red thread on lawn

How much does it cost to water a lawn?

People often think their water bill will soar if they water their lawn but it doesn’t take as much water as you think. We did some calculations on the lawns we look after and calculated:

Lawn sizeTime (sprinkler)Cost6 weeks cost
40sqm20 minutes50p£3.00
90sqm45 minutes£1.13£6.78
140sqm70 minutes£1.75£10.50
190sqm (average)95 minutes£2.38£14.28
240sqm120 minutes£3.00£18.00
290sqm145 minutes£3.63£21.78

* all lawns used 1 inch of water

On the lawns we looked after we only needed to put the sprinkler on five or six times that whole summer, so our lawns were kept green for around £3!!!

Watering your garden shouldn’t be a hassle, however, if you do need some help we offer an all year round lawn care service where we will take care of your lawn.