5 Ways To Optimize Your Lawn Watering Schedule

The balance between providing enough water for a healthy lawn and wasting money and resources is a delicate one. How can you be sure your watering is providing just what the lawn needs when it needs it? Here are five tips to try.

1. Measure Sprinkler Output. Find out how much water your sprinkler system puts out by measuring it. This can be done relatively simply by what's known as the tuna can method—simply putting out small containers like tuna cans around the lawn and measuring what accumulates. Multiply for the times per week you water. Then, compare this with information about your grass species' water needs. 

2. Analyze Evaporation. The amount a sprinkler puts out doesn't mean much if that moisture evaporates before it gets down to the roots. The top few inches of the ground in a lawn is the most important area, so stick your finger into the ground and get a feel for moisture levels after watering, after an hour or two, in the evening, in the morning, and even at night. Make sure it stays wet for a reasonable length of time but isn't puddling overnight. 

3. Account for Rainfall. Natural rainfall affects how well your lawn is really being watered, so any good analysis takes this into account. But don't limit this to simply turning off the sprinklers manually after it rains. Instead, determine the average rainfall in a given month, then add this to your calculations about how much water your lawn is receiving. You may be surprised. 

4. Spread Out Watering. The lawn will generally do better when watering is a little more spread out. Switch from once-per-week watering to twice per week, using half the weekly amount each time. However, don't think that more is better. Watering too little too frequently could just result in water evaporating too quickly and a reverse effect happening. 

5. Work With a Professional. If you have trouble with any of these calculations or analyses, contact a lawn maintenance pro for help. With their expertise and the correct tools, they can make these water adjustments faster and more effectively than most homeowners.

Although this effort can seem challenging, the health of your lawn depends on it. And because a healthy lawn affects the temperature of the yard, the local wildlife, your home's value, and your soil's makeup, a little time and work now will undoubtedly improve many parts of your property and your enjoyment of your home.

Contact a lawn maintenance service for more information.