Lawn Care Advice: Proper Watering

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Lawn Care AdviceLawn Care Advice

on June 4, 2013 by TruGreen

When it comes to watering your lawn, lawn care advice is easy to come by—but good lawn care advice is harder to find. Sure, we all understand that our lawns need the correct amount of water in order to grow healthy, green and lush. But do you also realize that problems occur when your lawn receives too much water? The symptoms are similar and include wilting, poor color, and poor growth. Ask your neighbors for their opinions on when to water and how much, and you’ll probably hear any number of tips and tricks.

The experts at TruGreen®, however, understand the science behind achieving a lawn you’ll love, and that proper watering plays an important role in the process. That’s why they’re here to tell you what you need to know in regard to watering your lawn as the summer heats up. 

TruGreen lawn care advice: sufficient watering

Your lawn needs to be moist to a depth of 4-6” below the surface to support healthy root growth and maintenance in the heat of the summer. That usually equates to 1-2” of water per week in warm summer weather. Excessively dry or hot conditions, along with windy weather, can increase those needs.

Overly wet conditions can be equally dangerous to your turf, so avoid overwatering. If you have yard areas that are prone to holding excess moisture—and installing drainage-diverting pipes or downspouts isn’t an option—consider moisture-tolerant plants like viburnum, river birch, red bud, sweetgum, willow, or serviceberry.

If you can’t irrigate in certain areas that are prone to aridity, consider drought-tolerant plants like juniper, redbud, crabapple, hackberry, barberry, or grey dogwood. These plants can tolerate dry conditions and help keep your yard looking healthy and manicured during the dry season.

watering lawn care tips

A TruGreen PhD-certified specialist can offer science-based lawn care advice that will change the way you see your yard. Follow these tips for lawn care that will help keep your grasses lush and healthy all summer long. 

  • Know the signs of moisture stress. Recognizing the earliest signs of moisture stress can help you keep a lawn green in hot weather. If footprints in the grass don’t spring back after you’ve walked on the lawn, the grass is beginning to wilt due to dry conditions. Grass that has a blue or gray cast but is usually brighter green also signals over-dryness. On the other hand, grass that looks wilted even though the soil is wet to the touch is waterlogged and experiencing stress from too much moisture.
  • Water early. Watering in the morning is ideal in most environments. At midday, more water evaporates than goes into the soil. Afternoon/evening watering invites trouble because plants that stay wet overnight can be more prone to developing certain diseases that thrive in moist conditions. Still, if you have no other option, evening watering is safe for most healthy, disease-free lawns.
  • More water, less often. Watering deeply every time you turn the sprinkler on, but watering less often, encourages deeper root growth as turf roots follow the water deeper into the soil. Watering shallowly but often encourages shallow, broad root growth that can lead to a spindly, unhealthy lawn.
  • Know your soils. Sandy soils soak up water quickly. Clay soils absorb water slowly, so water may begin to run off at the surface before it has penetrated deeply enough. Clay or loam should be moistened to a depth of about 6” by 1” or 1 ½” of water if the water has time to penetrate; sandy soils will need only ½” to ¾” of water to penetrate to the same depth.
  • Check your moisture depth. This little test can make a big difference for lawn health. It only takes a few minutes and can tell you how well your lawn care attempts are working. Take a soil probe or screwdriver and insert it into your lawn in several spots. Mark the depth to which you can push your probe. The further it penetrates, the greater the depth of moisture in the soil. Ideally, you want moist soil to a depth of 6 to 12 inches. If it’s too shallow, your lawn needs more water; too deep, and your yard may be becoming waterlogged—despite your good intentions. 

Proper watering is only one aspect of maintaining a healthy lawn through the summer heat. Fertilization, overseeding, aeration, and weed control are all necessary parts of successful turf management. You’ll also need the proper lawn care equipment for your unique outdoor landscape. For expert lawn care advice in achieving the lawn you’ll love, give TruGreen a call at 866.688.6722 or visit them online at

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