What is the proper way to water a lawn?

FAQ
Question: 

What is the proper way to water a lawn?

Answer: 

Most lawns in Iowa require 1 to 1½ inches of water per week.  When watering the lawn, apply this amount in a single application or possibly 2 applications 3 or 4 days apart.  Avoid frequent, light applications of water which promote shallow rooting and lush growth.  Lush, shallow-rooted turfgrass is less drought tolerant.  It is also more susceptible to pest problems.  To determine the amount of water applied by a sprinkler, place 2 or 3 rain gauges within the spray pattern. 

Early morning (5:00 to 9:00 am) is the best time to water a lawn.  A morning application allows the water to soak deeply into the soil with little water lost to evaporation.  When watering is completed, the turfgrass foliage dries quickly.  Watering at mid-day is less efficient because of rapid evaporation and strong winds may cause uneven water distribution.  Strong, mid-day winds may also carry water onto driveways, sidewalks, or streets, wasting considerable amounts of water.  Watering lawns in late afternoon or evening may increase disease problems. 

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