Water is one of the key ingredients to a healthy, happy lawn. With our warm season drought tolerant varieties of lawn such as Sir Walter DNA Certified Buffalo, Eureka Premium Kikuyu VG, Tif Tuf and Sir Grange, watering can be minimal. However, all lawns need water to keep them looking lush and green.
One of the most common questions we get asked here at Lilydale Instant Lawn is “How do I know I am watering my lawn enough?”, Particularly here in Melbourne in the hotter months. The answer to this question can be quite different due to a variety of factors.
Some factors to take into consideration are:
How the weather has been behaving in Melbourne, has it been warm, has there been natural rain fall or colder cloudy days?
Access and method of watering.
The type of soil you have in your property – free draining sandy soil or more heavy clay soil
The type of lawn variety you have – a warm season drought tolerant lawn or a cool season grass
The environment where your lawn is – is their shade, full sun, and is it a windy garden
The overall general health of your lawn
What is the best method to water my lawn?
Generally, we recommend that you use an irrigation system or sprinklers when watering any lawn, as this encourages a more even spread of water across the area. Hand watering with a hose tends to not distribute enough water along with taking up more of your time.
Make it easy, and simply set up a timer on your hose with a sprinkler attachment to cover your entire area and let it do the job for you.
How often do I water establishing warm season lawns or lawns which have been laid within the past couple of weeks?
Freshly laid lawn needs more watering, this is due to the root system still taking hold and building their strength and drought tolerance.
We recommend that you water your new lawn typically once a day. In the warmer months where temperatures are reaching over 28 – 30 degrees we recommend that you water twice a day. In the cooler months or months with higher natural rainfall you may need to monitor your water and alter accordingly.
As the weeks go by with your new lawn, it is best to test if it has established by simply trying to lift a QWELT, if the QWELT is easy to lift then it is still establishing, if the QWELT doesn’t pull up and roots have taken hold you know your lawn is established.
Once established, you can begin to back off watering, depending on the weather. If daytime temperatures are still over 28 degrees, it may be worth monitoring the lawn and its dryness and still watering daily.
How often do I water an established warm season lawn variety?
An established warm season lawn will require a lot less water and, in some areas, depending on the time of year and lawn variety, it may be able to reply on the natural rain fall alone.
The idea is to get to the point where you water less frequently but give the lawn a deep soaking. Deep soaking encourages the lawn’s root system to grow deep into the ground further strengthening its drought tolerance.
Keep an eye on your lawn, in the cooler months of Melbourne between April to September typically your established lawn should survive on natural rainfall, however in the warmer months of October till March you may need to water your lawn once a week or fortnight to keep it healthy.
If your lawn looks like it needs watering. Typically, we recommend setting your sprinkler or irrigation system on either early morning or at or after dusk for about 20- 30mins. After you have watered, simply stick your finger into the lawn and ensure it feels wet below the surface. This is how you know it has received enough water.
Can I overwater my established lawn?
Yes, you can overwater your established lawn, but this is more typical during the cooler months of the year here in Melbourne, where the lawn may have slowed its growth and not require as much water.
Keep an eye on the moisture level as mentioned above and if your established lawn feels wet and looks healthy, it does not need watering.
What are the signs that my lawn needs watering?
If it is weltering or losing colour, typically the lawn will go lighter in colour.
If when you walk across the lawn you leave foot prints, if your lawn is healthy it will generally bounce straight back. This is known as the foot print test.
If during the warmer months, it goes crispy and dry and feels crunchy under foot.
What if I have a cool season grass or seeded lawn, do the same watering requirements apply?
If you have a cool season grass type such as Tall Fescue, Rye Grass or Blue Grass then these grasses are not drought tolerant and will require a lot more watering especially in the hot summers in Melbourne. Generally, we don’t recommend these grass types for the Melbourne climate due to its hot dry summers. Typically, these lawns, established or new, require daily watering all year round, so an irrigation system is essential if you do choose to install them.
If you are unsure whether your lawn needs watering or have any further questions please give our friendly sales staff a call on (03) 9730 1128 or send an email including photographs of your concerns to firstname.lastname@example.org