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How Much Water Does My Lawn Actually Need? Tips for Ohio & Kentucky Homeowners

5 min read

Properly watering your lawn is critical to its overall health and performance. While we find that most homeowners realize their lawn needs water, they typically aren’t sure exactly how much.

If you have questions about how much to water a lawn—or, how long to water a lawn—you aren’t alone. These are two of the questions that we receive most often and frankly, we love that homeowners want to know! After all, at the end of the day, an amazing lawn is a partnership between the homeowner and their lawn care service provider.

In this article, we’ll talk about how much to water a lawn (and how long to water) so that you are truly set up for success.

How Much to Water a Lawn?

First and foremost, we want to be clear that we are approaching this topic in this particular article by assuming you have a mature lawn. If you have questions in regard to watering a new lawn (such as watering after aeration and overseeding), then that is a different topic and you can read more about it here.

In regard to watering a mature lawn, Oasis Turf & Tree’s recommendation is deep and infrequent watering. Homeowners should put down around a half-inch of water, per zone, twice a week.

This allows the root structure of the lawn to grow deeper into the soil. When you water too often, the root structure will remain shallow (because it doesn’t have to grow as far to reach that water).

Commonly, people tend to believe that rainfall will cover most of their watering. But less rain typically falls than people realize and supplementation is frequently required either through a lawn irrigation system or a sprinkler attached to a hose.

As far as when to water, the morning is by far the best time to water your lawn. This gives your grass plenty of time to dry before nightfall and absorb as much water as possible before it evaporates.

sprinkler head watering lawn

Avoid watering your lawn in the middle of the day or at night. In the middle of the day, when the sun is the strongest, much of the water will evaporate instead of soaking your lawn. Watering at night can lead to turf disease, especially in warmer weather.

Measuring the Water Your Lawn Receives

As far as how long to water a lawn, it will depend upon the rate at which the water is coming out and how long it takes to ensure your lawn receives the amount it needs. It’s typically a bit longer than people tend to realize. On average, with a typical sprinkler system attached to a hose, it could be anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour (give or take).

Rather than guessing, you can figure out how much water is actually making it into your lawn throughout the week.

automatic sprinkler head watering lawn

Here are two ways to gauge how much water your lawn is receiving and whether it is enough.

  • You can measure water using a simple tuna can, which is typically around an inch deep. Leave the empty can on the lawn during your watering to see how much water is collected
  • You can also test your lawn’s saturation level by using a screwdriver and testing how easily it can be driven into the soil. If your lawn is well-saturated, it will be easy to push the screwdriver into the lawn. If you’re getting a lot of resistance, the soil is likely too dry.

On the flip side, you can also watch out for signs that your lawn has been overwatered. If your grass is exceptionally squishy and sponge-like when you walk on it, it might actually be getting too much water. Runoff and dying patches can also signal a problem with too much water.


Getting the Amazing Lawn Care Results You Desire

There’s no question that watering your lawn on a regular basis is an important step in achieving the amazing lawn care results that you desire. We love that homeowners like you are asking questions about how much to water the lawn. It shows that you truly care and are committed to working with your lawn care company to get the best results!

Of course, we also understand that life gets busy and sometimes you forget to water. Honestly, this happens to us, too. You should know that being proactive and attempting to water as much as possible will still make a big difference.

woman and child play in healthy grass

Keep in mind that even a little proactivity goes a really long way. If you start watering early in the season before it gets super hot or dry, you’re already at an advantage.

But if you wait until a period of drought to start watering, you can’t just “catch up” overnight. Drought stress is definitely going to impact the lawn’s aesthetics and performance.

For that reason, homeowners who want a great-looking lawn may decide to invest in an irrigation system. If that’s something you’re interested in, we have recommendations for irrigation companies in our area that do great work.

No matter what the case, we do believe that lawn care is a team effort. Your watering efforts combined with the expertise of your lawn care company will help you to get that thick and healthy lawn that you can truly enjoy to the fullest.

Want to learn more about professional lawn care services for your Cincinnati, Dayton, Ohio, or Northern Kentucky home? Request your quote, choose the lawn care program that’s right for you, and then sit back and relax as the pros help you get the lawn of your dreams without the worries.

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Image Source: Sprinkler Head

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