Why you shouldn’t overwater your lawn

During very hot dry weather it’s advisable to water your lawn in order to keep it lush, green and healthy. However, it’s quite easy to overwater the lawn if you’re not careful and this could do the grass more damage than good. Find out why you shouldn’t overwater your lawn and learn how to spot the signs of overwatering, with advice from Paynes Turf.

Why you shouldn’t overwater your lawn

Problems with overwatering

An overwatered lawn could encourage the onset of lawn diseases, the growth of weeds, and make the grass susceptible to damage by insects. Just like problems with a waterlogged lawn, a lawn that has been watered too much will not be able to recover until the problem has been resolved. One of the biggest problems of overwatering your lawn, apart from the obvious waste of water and the cost, is that the turf will develop a shallow root system, which will lead to a weak lawn that’s prone to disease. A healthy lawn should have a deep root system – this makes the turf stronger, more resilient, lush and green.

So how much is too much water?

  • If you’ve watered the lawn in the morning and it’s still soft and squelchy when you walk across it hours later, then the chances are you’ve been giving it too much water.
  • Have you been watering your lawn a lot but it still appears to be wilting? Overwatering a lawn can show similar symptoms to the affects of under watering; the grass leaves will turn brown and begin to wilt. To remedy this, lay off with the hosepipe until the problem has resolved itself.
  • Does your lawn have a problem with mould or fungus? This could be the result of overwatering your lawn, or watering at the wrong time of day – it’s best to water your lawn early in the morning to allow the surface water time to evaporate during the day, rather than watering at night where the water will sit on the lawn; this will encourage the growth of mould and fungal diseases.
  • If water is running off your lawn and onto the path or the road, then you’re giving it too much water.

How to water your lawn

The best way to water your lawn is deeply and infrequently, mimicking nature itself. It’s no good giving the lawn a quick sprinkle for ten minutes with the hosepipe, as this will only encourage shallow rooting. For the best results, water the lawn for around an hour once a week (from June to September) – this will allow the water to soak deep into the turf, encouraging the grass roots to grow deeper into the soil in search of the water, which will encourage stronger growth.

If you’re worried that you have been overwatering your lawn, don’t water it for a few weeks and see how the grass grows. The best way to test whether or not the water has reached the roots of the grass is to cut a small hole in the lawn or push a sharp knife into the turf. A lawn that has been watered correctly will be dark, moist and cool, but never soaking wet.