How Can You Tell When Your Grass is “Thirsty”?

You can tell your grass is “thirsty” and in need of water when it starts to wilt OR when the soil is dry.  During dry weather or exceptionally hot times, do some visual checking to see if the grass is wilting. When the grass begins to get limp or looking tired, apply water or flip on the irrigation system. Another good test is to do a quick “soil moisture test.” Take something like a knife and push the blade into the soil 5 – 6 inches. If the blade comes out shiny and dry then it is time to water.

2 Rules of Lawn Watering

When watering a lawn there are 2 simple, basic rules to follow:

  • When you water the lawn – water it thoroughly. This means soaking the ground and soil to a depth of about 4 – 6 inches
  • Only apply water as fast as the ground can absorb it

The only time any type of “light sprinkling” is done on a lawn is when seed is first put down, where it would be watered lightly. If a lawn is established, giving a light sprinkling only encourages the root system of the grass to develop near the surface; whereas a thorough and deep watering helps the root system to push down deeper and develop stronger roots. The “deeper root system” allows the grass to absorb more water and nutrients. A deep rooted lawn is usually a healthy lawn and can better withstand seasons of drought. A shallow rooted grass will fade when tested by weather extremes.