Lawns need at least 1 inch of water per week to stay green (rainwater and sprinkler combined). It is important to water for a longer duration 2-3 times per week, rather than a shallow amount daily. This allows water to reach lower soil horizons encouraging deeper root growth. If you’re unsure how much you are watering, you can try this “rain gauge” technique using an empty shallow tin can: Run your sprinkler and see how long it takes to get a half inch of water in the can – usually it’s about 30 minutes. If so, watering for 20 minutes 2-3 times a week is an ideal schedule. We also recommend watering as early in the morning as you can. As a rule, if you can’t push a 6” screwdriver into your lawn, you’re not watering enough. For more advanced watering schedules, see our blog posts, “Smart Watering: Cycle ‘n Soaking”
and “How Much Should I Water?”.
MOWING We highly recommend mulch mowing (not bagging the clippings) as a best practice for building your lawn. Grass mulch makes excellent food for the microbes living in your soil. Make sure your mower blade is nice and sharp and cut your grass only when it’s dry. Avoid mowing your lawn too short, maintaining at least a 2” to 3” height. Lawns that are mowed too short not only invite invading weeds and pests, but also puts a strain on the moisture content of the soil. Longer grass blades also capture more sunlight which strengthens plant health.
*These guidelines apply to a traditional grass lawn and an alternative mixed species lawn