There are a few basics beyond the control of your lawn care provider that any plant requires. These are light, air, warmth and water. This is no different for the grass plant. Given the lawn is the centrepiece of many UK gardens, the key maintenance practice of watering would be a little foolish to ignore.
Grass is a very resilient plant and in the grand scheme of things, with our UK climate which usually brings regular rain, will require infrequent watering providing other maintenance practices are in good order.
The big question…….to water or not to water?
Our advice on this matter is straightforward, if there is a hosepipe ban do not water. If there is not a hosepipe ban, then now is the time to consider if to water or not.
Option 1 – Not watering your lawn
If you choose not to water your lawn during periods of dry weather, it will soon turn brown. The grass plant will turn dormant to protect itself and will not start to recover until substantial rainfall arrives. Most lawns tend to recover within a few months but if we have a prolonged drought such as in 1976 or more recently in 2018 it is likely that the lawn will need remedial work to bring it back to good health, which can be expensive. In occasional cases, especially lawns grown on poor soil or those that are very old and thatchy it is possible that the entire lawn could die and require replacement.
Option 2 – Water your lawn
It is important that the watering of your lawn during a hot and dry period of weather is not ignored if you want the lawn to stay green and healthy. Watering is not necessarily wasteful – it supports the thousands of grass plants that make up your lawn, which are removing carbon dioxide from our atmosphere. Your lawn is part of the solution, not the problem.
Watering your lawn doesn’t have to be time consuming. Watering your lawn just once per week during a testing summer for your garden, providing it is done so deeply and to saturation will be enough to allow your lawn to hang on in there – at least providing it with a life support level of moisture. By watering deeply, infrequently, when rainfall does arrive it will be accepted by the soil surface. If the lawn hasn’t been watered at all, much of this precious natural rainfall will bounce off. This deep watering will encourage roots to seek downwards to find this water. Lawn professional do not recommend only watering lightly roots will remain close to the surface, and your lawn will be suffering from the symptoms of drought far sooner.
We encourage to watering of an evening where possible. Watering in the late morning or through the afternoon will prove wasteful with much of this water lost to evaporation. By watering of an evening, your lawn will have all night to make the best use of this. If your lawn is prone to disease, watering early in the morning will mean the leaf of the plant does not sit wet overnight.
UK Lawn Care Association’s Top Watering Tips
A quick and easy way to ensure your lawn has received enough water is to place a jam jar under the sprinkler and continue watering until there is at least an inch (25mm) of water in the jar.
Try to purchase a good quality impact sprinkler which will cover a wide area. If your water pressure is restrictive use an up-and-over sprinkler (pictured above) that will work better in with low pressure. If you have good water pressure use an impact sprinkler which will cover a large area efficiently.
Purchase a battery-operated timer which fits to your tap so you can set and forget. Keep an eye on your water meter. You might be surprised how little it costs to water your lawn for a month or two. To get an indication of how much watering your lawn could cost, check out our watering tool by clicking here.