When is the right time to water?

Discussion in 'Homeowner Assistance Forum' started by bans25, Jul 14, 2002.

  1. bans25

    bans25 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 6

    im new at this lawn thing so please forgive my stupid questions,
    when during the day is the best time to water?

  2. Brickman

    Brickman LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,249

    You will get as many anwsers to this question as you would if you asked which was best, Ford or Chev.

    My opinion for what it is worth is to water at a time during the day when you will have as little wind as possible. Now for your area that could be any time. Here in WY we can have wind when ever. But usually night time is when there is less.

    My suggestion for your area is to water in the morning before you would be using water for other things in the house, showers and the washer. That way the lawn doesn't sit so long wet and increase the possibility for fungus to start.

    If any body tells you do not water during the day because the sun will burn the grass just walk away. That is an old wives fable.
  3. lawnstudent

    lawnstudent LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 472

    Fungus is your biggest concern when watering. Well, the avoidance of fungus should be your concern. You don't want your lawn wet for long periods of time. Watering late in the day so that the grass is still wet at night will ensure the longest wet period for your lawn and increase the risk of fungus. AM is generally best period because grass dries in the sun. Hot afternoon is not the best because you get so much evaporation. Wind is not good as Brickman has indicated. If the night is going to be humid and the grass will be damp from the dew (temp below the dew point), then what does it matter if you water over night? It doesn't. Point is water when you can. Water when conditons are best for watering if you have the time. Just think about fungus. Oz. of prevention really is better than lb. of cure. Good luck.

  4. lawnstudent

    lawnstudent LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 472

    P.S. Best to let your lawn tell you when to water. When grass turns dark/silver gray or blades do not spring back up after you walk on lawn, then water. This is known as the "wilt point". It's best to wait until the wilt point is reached because this will stimulate grass roots to grow deeper to seek water. Deeper roots produce a healthier lawn that can resist stress better.

  5. The Mowerdude

    The Mowerdude LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 372

    All good answers. I agree with the A.M. watering. I was recently asked by one of my customers: "Why, if 7 am to 11 am is best, does my golf course water at 3 am?"

    My answer was: " Nobody wants to tee off at 7 am on a wet lawn. That's why golf courses spend tens of thousands of dollars on anti fungus treatment products."

    However, I have seen this. I have one customer with 3 acres of fescue. During really intense heat spells he waters in the afternoon as well as the morning. (Huge irrigation system and a well) His reasoning is that he knows that fescues go into heat shock when soil temps reach 85 degrees. He's attempting to cool it down. Seems to work, but I have to admit, I didn't think of it. If he was having to rely on city water, I think it would break him, though.

    so now it's all clear as mud. :dizzy:
  6. hurricane

    hurricane LawnSite Member
    Messages: 6

    That's really interesting about the "wilt point". I've learned to recognize that in my lawn but it's always stressed me when I see the telltale blue-graying and non-springyness as I've been worried I've waited too late with the water. Now I'll feel better about it and start using it as an indicator!

    I've been reading your forums and your advice is really excellent based on the books I've read and people I've talked to in the last few years of "learning the hard way" about caring for a lawn.

  7. lawnstudent

    lawnstudent LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 472

    Thanks from all of us who contribute to LS. That's what this site is all about, helping each other to raise the quality of lawn care/landscaping professionals. It's a pleasant surprise when someone notices and takes the time to post a postitive response. Thank you.

    Another tidbit of information relative to watering: Watering too often is one of the biggest contributors to thatch buildup. Soil microbes feed on thatch. If the microbes can not decompose the dead roots, stems, rhizomes or stolons as fast as a lawn produces them, thatch will build up in your lawn. One of the lab experiments I performed last spring showed the response of soil microbes to soil water. It was very dramatic the direct inverse relationship between soil water and the size of the soil microbe community. More water, fewer microbes. Reduce the microbe community with frequent watering while stimulating growth and you have thatch. The wilt point technique optimizes the lawn's need for water and the soil microbes need to soil air. This watering technique will help keep thatch at bay. Good reading, good luck and good evening.

  8. JJOHN22042

    JJOHN22042 LawnSite Member
    from MA
    Messages: 159

    Best Time to water is in the AM before the Heat. Water here in MA at around 5am. Lawn looks great. I also never water after dusk due to it brings the Bugs.

    Just my 2 cents

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