How do I correctly water my lawn? Great question!
In the Dayton, Cincinnati, and Columbus regions, The Organic Turf Company recommends that watering be done for about 15-20 minutes per area, in the cool of the morning, three days a week. In this way, your grass is provided the moisture it needs, without increased risk of lawn disease, and also avoids overwatering. This also provides your lawn with the proper amount of water, 1 to 1 ½ inches per week. Make sure to check for puddles or runoff, as these can be signs of overwatering.
It is important to make sure your irrigation system is applying water evenly. To do this, place an empty tuna or cat food can on the lawn, and water for a set period. Note the level of water in the can, then empty it and move it to another area. Repeat until all areas are checked. Even watering helps provide uniform growth and color.
Inadequate watering can cause grass to go into dormancy, but more importantly, it encourages shallow root growth, which directly impacts turf health. Overwatering can encourage lawns disease or insect infestations. Proper watering, in contrast, encourages deep root growth, and limits conditions that aid lawn diseases and insect infestations.
So how do I know if my lawn needs water? In August, in Ohio, the safe answer is that it does need water. But if you’d like to check your lawn, a good first step is to check by walking. If your lawn is still green, walk across it. If the footprints don’t rebound fairly quickly, your grass is in need of some water. If, as you walk, you hear a crunching sound, your lawn is quite dry, and needs water. For best lawn health, it is best to give your lawn that regularly scheduled, deep watering a few times a week.