Watering Schedule for Canadian Turf

Submitted on June 6, 2019

Is It Time to Water Your Lawn?

It’s that time of year again! Everyone wants to be outside on the lawn soaking up the sun with friends and family, but it’s important to remember that you’re not the only one that the sun has an impact on.

As we get into summer-like conditions, many parts of Canada are beginning to dry out. That means that it’s time to start considering when you should be watering your lawn. Before you water, you should decide if your lawn really needs it. This can be tricky, so we’ve outlined a few details to assess before you bring the sprinklers out:

  • Footprint test: Walk across your lawn. Do your footprints bounce back, or do they stay visible within the grass? If your footprints are visible, your lawn may be dry.

  • Colour test: Does your lawn look vibrant and green, or has it taken on a blue-green or even brown tinge? If the latter is true, it may be due for a watering.

  • Growth rate: If you remove only 1/3 of the grass blade at a time while mowing (the proper way to mow), you may have had to mow your lawn quite often this spring. Are you able to go more than a week without mowing now? If so, your lawn may need water.

  • Screwdriver soil test: Take a screw driver and insert it into your lawn.

    • Is it hard to insert? If yes, the soil may be dry and compacted (water it!)

    • When you pull the screwdriver out, can you feel any moisture on the screw driver? (If not, water it!)

  • Local watering restrictions: Remember that many municipalities impose important lawn watering restrictions throughout the summer months. Be sure to contact your local Weed Man Professional or the municipal government in order to ensure that you are complying with any restrictions that might be in place.


Now that you know when your lawn is due for a watering, you might be asking yourself: how? Luckily, Weed Man has got you covered. Here are some tips for watering your lawn:

  • Depth and frequency: the most crucial information that you will need to know about watering your lawn is that it must be done deeply and infrequently. Watering an established lawn heavily and infrequently promotes healthy root growth. When watering your lawn, wet the soil to a three- or four-inch depth. Normally, this means about 45 minutes to 1 hour in each area with your sprinkler. Deep watering should create enough reserve moisture in the soil that you will not need to water again for several days, depending on rainfall amounts.

    • Watering lightly and frequently can cause shallow rooting and disease problems, as roots follow the water. Watering lightly focuses on the grass blades for short periods, encouraging the roots to come closer to the surface and making grass plants weaker due to their susceptibility to drought, disease, and insect issues.

  • Checking soil moisture depth: Determining soil moisture depth is as easy as taking the screwdriver soil test as you learned earlier. If you meet little resistance, then the soil is wet. However, if the screwdriver doesn’t push easily into the soil, then additional water is needed. Deep, thorough watering is always preferred over light sprinkling because deep watering takes water far down into the soil, encouraging a strong root system. Your lawn needs a minimum of 1 ½ inches (3 to 4 cm) of water weekly, depending on soil type, wind, and rainfall amounts.

  • Soil type: Sandy soils need more water than clay soils. However, keep in mind that less water is needed to wet a sandy soil to a four-inch depth.

  • Watering time: Early morning is the best time to water your lawn. Afternoon watering results in wasted resources, as much of the water evaporates in hot and dry conditions. Alternatively, evening watering can result in too much water standing in the root zone, leading to various forms of turf disease.

  • If your lawn shows symptoms of drought, water it immediately, regardless of the time of day.

  • If your lawn appears to be stressed or showing signs of summer dormancy, raise your mowing height to 3 ½ to 4 inches (9 to 10 cm).


For more information on watering your lawn, contact your local Weed Man Professional for a Free Healthy Lawn Analysis.


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