The Q&A Archives: Lawn Watering

Question: Should I water my lawn all year around?

Answer: Lawns do not need to be watered when the ground is frozen, or if it is already moist due to natural precipitation. Very often, little or no watering is needed in spring and fall since there is seasonal rain and the cooler temperatures help the soil stay moister longer naturally. Also, some gardeners do not water at all and instead allow their established lawns to go dormant during midsummer when natural rainfall is scarce. If you opt to water, you will need to water more often during the heat of the summer and especially during summer dry spells. To see if you need to water, dig down an inch or so and feel the soil. When you do need to water, water enough at a time that it soaks down about six inches. This will encourage your lawn to grow deep healthy roots that reach down where the soil naturally stays moister longer. For this reason, too, it is best to water deeply and less often rather than to provide a light sprinkling daily. The partial exception to this rule is with a newly planted lawn, which must be kept evenly moist while it is becoming established. Again, you will still need to check the soil to know if you need to water.

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