How to water a lawn

This is an exchange we had with a new customer this year when we were asking the standard questions that allow us to offer up the best service.
“Do you have a sprinkler system?”
“Well, my husband…”
“So he does water properly?”
“Well he waters, but I’m not sure what you mean by properly.”
For a great, organic lawn, watering is big. Huge. But there is a lot of confusion about how to do it best.
Short answer: An established lawn needs an inch of water ever week on average.
The long answer is complicated by how much or how little it rains, if it has been hot or windy, whether you have an installed irrigation system or just a hose-end sprinkler and if there are any big shady trees on your property.
For people using a sprinkler I always recommend watering for an hour and a half once a week in each area. That pretty much guarantees a good soaking of the soil down to the roots. If it has been really dry and sunny, do it twice a week. You can read our webpage for even more watering information and advice.
If you’ve got an irrigation system you’ll get better results programming it to come on two or three times a week for a bit less time – we have specialists who can put in the best program for your lawn for you.
Toronto is a forest city, and big trees are water hogs. They also block the rain like an umbrella. Make sure any grass under one gets extra watering.
To make things easier here are a couple of tips: Buy a rain gauge or make one yourself from an empty can or jar. That will let you see how much rain you are really getting so you know what more your lawn needs. And save yourself a lot of work and worry – a simple hose-end timer can turn the water off for you automatically, and they only cost $30 or so. They’ll last for years too – just remember to bring them inside in the winter.
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