Water is a key ingredient for a healthy, happy lawn. Our warm-season, drought-tolerant lawn varieties, such as Sir Walter DNA Certified Buffalo, Eureka Premium Kikuyu VG, Tif Tuf, and Sir Grange, require minimal watering. However, all lawns need water to stay lush and green.
One of the most common questions we get asked here at Lilydale Instant Lawn, particularly in Melbourne’s hotter months, is “How do I know I am watering my lawn enough?” There’s no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, but some factors to take into consideration are:
Recent weather and rainfall – warm or cool, dry or wet, cloudy or clear?
Water availability and method of watering – hose/watering can or sprinkler/irrigation?
Soil type – free-draining/sandy or heavy clay?
Lawn variety – warm-season, drought-tolerant grass or cool-season grass?
Environment – shade or full sun, windy or still?
General lawn health.
What is the best method to water my lawn?
Generally, we recommend that you use an irrigation system or sprinklers for all lawn types, as this encourages a more even spread of water across the area. Hand watering with a hose doesn’t tend to distribute water evenly enough – and it’s time consuming, too.
Make it easy by simply setting up a sprinkler attachment on your hose to cover your entire area. Set a timer and let it do the job for you.
How often should I water establishing (laid within the past couple of weeks) warm-season lawns?
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 should I water an established warm-season lawn?
An established warm-season lawn requires minimal watering. In Melbourne’s cooler months (April to September) most established lawns survive on natural rainfall alone, but always keep an eye on your lawn and, if it appears to be drying out, you might need to water occasionally. In the warmer months of October to March you will likely need to water once a week to once a fortnight to keep it healthy and green.
Ideally, you should tend towards watering less frequently but giving the lawn a deep soaking each time. Deep soaking encourages the lawn’s root system to grow deep into the ground, further strengthening its drought tolerance.
We recommend setting your sprinkler or irrigation system to run for about 20–30 minutes in the early morning or after dusk. After you have watered, simply stick your finger into the lawn and see whether it feels wet below the surface. If it does, you know it has received enough water.
Can I overwater my established lawn?
Yes, you can overwater your established lawn, but this is more of a risk during Melbourne’s cooler months, when the lawn has slowed its growth and does not require as much water.
Just keep an eye on the moisture level of the soil. If your established lawn feels wet and looks healthy, it does not need watering.
What are the signs that my lawn needs watering?
Your lawn needs watering if...
the colour of the lawn gets lighter
you leave footprints when you walk across the lawn (the ‘footprint test’ – a healthy lawn will generally bounce straight back)
it dries out and feels crunchy underfoot (this generally only happens in the warmer months).
Do the same watering requirements apply to cool-season grass or seeded lawn?
Cool-season or seeded lawn types such as tall fescue, rye grass, and blue grass are not drought tolerant and require a lot more watering, especially in hot weather. Generally, we don’t recommend these grass types for the Melbourne climate due to its hot, dry summers. Cool-season lawns, whether they’re established or new, typically 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 email@example.com