what is the best time of day to water your lawn

During the warm spring and summer months, it's absolutely vital that you keep your lawn hydrated by watering it regularly. If you're new to gardening, or you're looking to improve your lawn care, you might be wondering what the best time of day to water your lawn is.

When should you water your lawn?

The best time of day to water your lawn is in the morning, sometime before 10 am if possible. At the beginning of the day, the sun isn't shining brightly and the temperature is a little cooler. This is an ideal time to water the lawn because it gives the water a chance to soak into the ground and make its way to the roots before it evaporates. It also prepares your lawn so that it's had a big drink before the scorching midday temperatures hit!

If you can't water your lawn in the morning, the second best time to water it is later in the afternoon. Again, the sun won't be at its hottest at this time of day, so the water will have a chance to soak into the ground. However, the problem with watering your lawn too late in the day is that water can sit on your lawn overnight. Ground that's damp for prolonged periods of time can be more susceptible to disease and fungus, so you ideally want some of it to evaporate before nightfall. If you water the lawn between 3 and 6 pm, it should have a chance to absorb/evaporate fully before it gets dark.

How do I know if my lawn needs watering?

You'll know if your lawn is not getting enough water because you'll start to see yellow or brown patches developing. This can be a sign of drought, or that there are too many salts in the soil. Watering the lawn regularly will help to keep the grass hydrated and dilute salts before they cause root burns. 

The screwdriver test:

If you want a really quick and effective way to test whether the grass needs watering, you simply need to insert a stick or screwdriver into the ground to a depth of around 6 inches. If the tool slides easily into the soil, then you know that there is some moisture present, however, if the soil feels firm and dry, then this is a good indication that it needs to be watered. 

Additional watering during a heatwave

Here in the UK, we're starting to experience some really scorching summers. Last year (2022) was the fourth warmest summer on record for the UK, with temperatures in excess of 40 degrees recorded! So, should you water your lawn when we have a heatwave of this magnitude?

Yes, it's a good idea to cool your lawn down when we're experiencing a heatwave. The best thing to do is to give your lawn a continuous shower for around 10 minutes. While this won't actually water the roots of the lawn, it will bring the surface temperature of your lawn down considerably. As the water transpires from the surface of the grass, it will draw heat away with it. It's a bit like what happens when we humans sweat on a hot day!

What will happen if I don't water my lawn properly?

If you water your lawn too much, not enough, or during the wrong time of day - there are a few different things that can happen. 

  • Watering too much - will leave your lawn waterlogged and susceptible to disease or fungus.
  • Watering too little - could cause your grass to die in a drought.
  • Watering at the wrong time of day - might cause shallow rooting where the roots of the lawn have to come closer to the surface in order to get enough water.

So, it's best to water your lawn in the morning or the evening and keep an eye on the moisture levels in the soil at all times if you want your lawn to thrive. Here at Lawn and Weed Expert, we offer a range of spring and summer lawn care services that can help your lawn to survive through the warmest periods of the year. Check them out here:

Spring Lawn Care >         Summer Lawn Care >

 Learn More:

- What's the Best Way to Water Your Lawn?

- How Often Should I Water My Grass? 

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