We’re experiencing quite the sizzling summer this year with high temperatures averaging mid 90’s in both July and August. So keeping your Nashville lawn green and healthy can be tricky.

Proper watering is essential to maintaining a lush, green lawn. It’s an easy lawn maintenance task to overlook or mess up. Many homeowners don’t take the time to do the research and end up doing their lawn more harm than good with their poor watering habits.

But how much water does a lawn require? How often does it need to be watered? Is there anything else that can be done besides watering?

We tackle these questions and more below!

1. When is the best time for me to water my lawn?

rainbow-sprinkler

Photo: Flickr / Wayne Beaven

Early in the a.m. is the best time to water the lawn because the air is cooler and the wind is usually more mellow. Water evaporates too quickly in the middle of the day. Plus the water droplets can act like tiny magnifying glasses and end up scorching the grass blades. And in the evenings, water sits on the grass too long resulting in fungus and other lawn diseases.

The best time to water the lawn is between 4 a.m. and 10 a.m. If you can’t make it happen in the morning during the week then the next best alternative would be to wait until the weekend and water the lawn then.

2. How much water does my lawn need?

The University of Tennessee Extension Office recommends between 1 – 1 ½ inches of water each week, or 630 to 945 gallons of water per 1,000 square feet of lawn.

It’s important to water long enough to moisten the soil about 6 inches down to foster the growth of a deep, healthy root system. The best way to see how far the moisture has reached is to dig out a small piece of sod about 6 inches down and inspect the soil. If the soil is dry, keep the water flowing.

Not all soil is created equal. So make sure to time how long it takes the water to work its way that deep into the ground, then water for that duration every you turn on the hose or sprinkler system.

3. Do I need to water my lawn every day?

Water twice a week, max. The general rule of thumb is to water once every 3 to 4 days. But remember that not all soil is created equal; so water clay soils about once a week and sandy soils about once every three days.

Watering deep and infrequently promotes a drought tolerant growth and forces the roots to reach deeper into the soil.

4. How do I know if my lawn needs to be watered?

grass-foot-print

Photo: Flickr / Jaakko Helleranta

Other than waiting until the grass turns brown or goes dormant, the best way is to perform a “footprint” test where you take a step on the lawn and if your grass doesn’t spring back, it needs water. Take a good look at the actual grass blades themselves and look for curled leaves.

Have questions about lawn care? Visit our Nashville lawn care page or share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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