You Can Over-Water Your Lawn?

May 31, 2017 | Lawn Care, posted by Sasha

sprinklers in a sunrise

Lawn care has many layers when it comes to watering. How often you water the lawn is just as important as when you should water the lawn and how much you should water. Even when you over-water your lawn, this can affect healthy lawn growth. Over-watered grass is more susceptible to diseases and pests and your water bill can suffer from inefficient watering.

What Can Happen from Over-watering:

  • Buildup from thatch, a layer of partially decomposed plant material, can prevent oxygen from reaching the grassroots (healthy lawn care is promoting growth of deep grassroots). This can make your lawn more susceptible to fungus and insects.
  • Fungi-like wet grass and can cause irregular brown patches in your lawn. (Note: You don’t need to use chemical fungicides if you water properly.)
  • Some weeds thrive in over-watered grass environments. Make sure you water infrequently and pull up weeds so as to not spread the weed growth.
  • Insects like to attack stressed and/or weakened lawns. They can feed on grass roots and cause grass wilting or grass death.

Signs of Over-watering:

  • A spongy feeling when walking on the ground.
  • Standing water or puddles on the lawn.
  • Runoff in the driveway.
  • Yellow or light green patches. (This happens when nutrients are extracted from the grass from overwatering.)

How much water is too much water for my grass

How much water your lawn needs is dependent on the type of grass you have, but the best advice is water your grass no more than what it needs. When you do water your grass, make sure that you water enough to get to the roots, then allow time for your lawn to almost dry completely before watering again.
It’s important to allow time for your lawn to absorb most of the water it can before rewatering, which promotes long-term grass health. This is done to mimic natural water patterns of rain followed by drought.
It’s better for grass to be watered deeply and infrequently, as opposed to frequently with less water, because heavier watering allows the grass to root deeper and last longer. If your lawn is watered frequently, but with not enough water, the roots will remain shallower, and your whole lawn will be more susceptible to over-watering.

How to avoid accidental over-watering

Since many people don’t realize they’ve over-watered their lawns until they find puddles in their grass, it’s important to learn how over-watering occurs accidentally, and what you can do to avoid it.

  • Change your automatic sprinkler settings frequently. It’s easy to over-water your grass when you set an automatic sprinkler and forget about it. Seasons, rain and grass-age all plays a role in how susceptible your lawn is to being watered too much.
  • Keep your waterings even. If part of your lawn is drying out and another part of your lawn looks like a swamp, you need to find a better solution to watering your grass more evenly.
  • Avoid watering before rain. Make sure to check the future forecast before watering your grass, and make sure to turn any automatic sprinklers off before spouts of rainfall.
  • Check your soil often. The best way to tell if your grass is getting too much water is to check a small spot of soil under your sod grass. If it’s moist then it’s watered fine. If it’s muddy you’re over watering.

Keep in mind that the amount and frequency of watering depends on the type of grass you have growing in your space. If you are worried that you are overwatering and need some lawn care advice, contact us at The Grass Outlet, we’d love to help.