We all know that watering at noon when the sun is fully up is wasteful. The heat will lead to the quick evaporation of a substantial amount of water. So, when is the best time to water the lawn grass? Some homeowners believe that morning is the ideal time while others insist that watering grass at night is also acceptable.
Here, we identify how the latter should be conducted to achieve the positive results.
Water Deeply But Adjust for Grass Seeds
Similar to morning irrigation, nighttime watering should be done deeply rather than in a shallow manner. Mere sprinklers of water won’t encourage the root systems to establish themselves deeply in the soil. In the daytime, the shallow roots won’t have enough strength to survive continued heat or drought.
The opposite is true if you irrigate grass seeds at night. For grass seeds, ten minutes of irrigation should be enough to provide moisture. Do note that this should be conducted both at morning and at night. Once the grass seedlings are showing significant growth, the frequency should be reduced in exchange for deep irrigation. As the lawn grass matures, water less at night and more in the morning.
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Target the Foliage If There Are Pests at Night
Ideally, you should be watering your lawn grass in the morning. However, time constraints would mean having to water at another time instead. The next best option is to water the grass at night, but this comes at a cost. For one, pests begin to make their way onto your lawn under the cover of night. As you water your grass in the evening, you might see snails damaging the turf. You can pull them out of your lawn by hand when you spot them.
Thankfully, you can help your lawn grass to survive these pests feeding off on them at night by watering their grass blades instead of just the soil and the roots. With enough moisture, it becomes hard for pests to damage the grass blades. In contrast, grass blades that have begun to wilt are easier for pests to consume. Just like morning irrigation, the provision of moisture to the grass gives them a natural way to resist pests.
Check if the Soil is Well-Draining
Watering the lawn grass in the evening means that evaporation is unlikely to happen and there is less wind to carry the water away. However, one common concern is that the moisture will stay for too long. In contrast, even with the cool temperatures, the rising sun ensures the evaporation after a while.
Because the absence of evaporation gives pathogens more time to reach the lawn grass, some people argue that lawn grass could develop fungal diseases at nighttime. In most cases, however, the problem is actually inefficient drainage instead of the time of irrigation. When you water your lawn grass at night, ensure that you have well-draining soil. This will prevent the soil from harboring the water for an excessive amount of time.
Cancel Evening Irrigation if Frost Occurs
Compared to morning grass irrigation, nighttime irrigation guarantees that your lawn grass will have eight hours or so to fully absorb the moisture in the soil. There is no sun that will force some of the moisture to be taken to the atmosphere.
However, you should cancel watering the grass at night if local weather forecasts show an incoming frost. Even a light frost at night can be bad for your lawn grass if it’s combined with evening irrigation. The cells of your lawn grass will surely be damaged. It’s better to water in the morning if frost is about to arrive.
Switch to Morning Irrigation if Possible
While nighttime irrigation can be done as well, you will have less to worry about if your water your lawn in the morning. Just like evening, the early morning is characterized by cool temperatures. In other words, water does not rapidly evaporate due to the heat from the sun.
Similarly, both morning irrigation and evening irrigation are safe from harsh winds that carry off the water. In the morning, the soil in your garden has enough time to absorb the water before evaporation sets in. The difference is that the water won’t overstay and lead to possible fungal diseases and bacteria buildup.
Here’s a video on watering at night:
In conclusion, there’s nothing inherently wrong with watering the lawn at night. You just need to ensure that no frost is going to arrive and that you watch out for pests. Similarly, adjustments are in order if you are irrigating seeds and grass seedlings. Likewise, a well-draining soil will lessen the possible problems arising from the lack of evaporation in nighttime irrigation.
We hope that our guide has helped you to properly irrigate at night. Watering in the morning is the best period, but it’s best to know what to do if you don’t have any choice but to water at night. If you have any questions, feel free to send us a comment.