In order to keep your lawn healthy, it's important to water your lawn properly. This segment has tips on: how to check your lawn to see if it needs more water, what's the best time of day to water, and helping your lawn to survive the hot, summer heat. Produced by the Department of Communications at Kansas State University. For more information, visit our website at:

Tips for Watering Your Lawn

One of the best management practices that you can use for irrigating a healthy yard is to use a spade, screwdriver or a soil probe to access the moisture content of your soil. By using a screwdriver or a soil probe or rod, you can push it into the ground after a heavy rainfall and you can feel how easy it is to go into the ground.

And then, as the ground starts to dry up, it will get harder and harder to penetrate the soil with the probe. And that can give us an indication of when we should irrigate the lawn.

With a spade, you can stick it in the ground and open up a pocket in the soil and look at the color of soil and the moisture content and then close the soil back up when you’re done.

Another best management practice when you’re irrigating your lawn is to do it early in the morning. The reason for irrigating your lawn in the morning is to avoid disease. If you irrigate your yard in the late afternoon such as 5:00 - 6:00 p.m. or later, the lawn will be wet all night long until the sun comes up the next morning. This provides a good opportunity for fungus and other plant diseases to grow on those plants.

The other reason for watering early in the morning is because the wind is usually calmer before the sun comes up. So, when you’re applying the water, it will go to the plants where you want it, and not blow into the street or other hardscapes and surfaces.

If you want your cool season lawn to stay green all summer long, you’ll probably need to irrigate it. But, it’s normal for cool season grasses to enter a dormant state during the summer. The grass can take a nap to avoid the hot and dry period. It enters dormancy and it sleeps and rests through the hot, dry summer. Then, when temperatures become cooler, and rainfall returns, the grass will green up again and grow.

You don’t have to irrigate your lawn all summer long if you don’t mind it turning brown. It can go dormant and survive during that dormant period. But, if you like your lawn to stay green all summer long, it will require some irrigation.

This feature story prepared with Rodney St.John, former Kansas State University Research and Extension Turfgrass Specialist. For more information, visit your local county extension office or visit our website at

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