Please refer to After Care for information on watering a new lawn. Below is information for watering an existing, established lawn.
Like any plant, a lawn will show it is not doing well by appearance and texture. A stressed lawn in need of water, will often show discolouration in shades of purple, blue and finally grey before the leaf dies off. In addition, a stressed lawn will not bounce back quickly when pressed or stepped on. These are signs that cannot and should not be ignored as they are evidence that your lawn is close to dying. It is important that you deep water* straight away using overhead sprinklers.
There are a variety of different methods that can be used to water your lawn. Common ways to water lawns are by hand/hose, via a standard sprinkler, through an installed overhead sprinkler system (pop ups) or by using subsurface irrigation. In addition to the types of watering, the type of water is also something to consider, with the use of rain water, grey water and septic tank water also being used in a variety of homes. From our experience, we have compiled information on these types of watering and how it can affect your lawn quality.
Hand watering and hose watering are not ideal for your lawn area. It does not matter how small your lawn area is, hand watering can be uneven and is rarely done for long enough to make a significant impact on your lawn. The only time hand watering is advisable is if you have reseeded or had a seeded lawn installed. Using sprinklers can damage the surface and lead to wash outs, so light hand watering to keep the seed damp is advisable until the seed has germinated.
Watering using a sprinkler attached to your hose can be an effective, economical way to water your lawn. This is ideal for smaller lawn areas. If you have a larger area you may need to move the sprinkler many times to get full coverage. Ensure you get a deep water by placing an ice-cream container on the lawn under the sprinkler. Time how long it takes for the container to collect 2.5cm (1 inch) of water and apply that same length of time to each section of your lawn to ensure you get even growth and colour.
Pop Up Sprinklers
Pop ups are an ideal option for watering a lawn as they can evenly cover a large area and they are easy to use. If your pop ups are installed and adjusted correctly, they use minimal wastage. To read about our products, visit our Irrigation section.
Subsurface watering is an environmentally friendly watering option, saving you up to 80% on watering costs. Subsurface keeps your roots of the lawn alive which is ideal in droughts, although in summer the sun takes the moisture out of the leaf to the lawn therefore some overhead watering may be required to keep the lawn green and lush. When the lawn is fertilised, it is also necessary to water overhead.
The length of time required to provide a deep water via subsurface is dependent on many factors;
- water pressure
- how many lines are running
- how big the lawn area is
- if it is a flat or sloping area
- the type of drippers installed, and
- how far apart the drippers are
Septic water is wastewater and solids collected from your household and either treated in a septic tank on your property or sent off to the treatment plant. Septic tanks are sensitive to chemicals so as long as you ensure you adhere to the recommendations regarding household cleaners, the septic water produced from septic tanks is great to use on your garden.
Grey water is solid-free wastewater from your household laundry. Many new housing developments will have a grey water tap on the exterior of the house which can be used to water your garden without impacting the environment. If you do not have this the simplest way is to use a bucket or extendable hose from your washing machine to your lawn or garden area. If you do have this tap you can connect up sprinkler lines or drip lines to this tap but ensure you use biodegradable products, as is recommended with a septic system, so to ensure you do not damage your lawn. It is best to alternate between using grey water and tap or rain water. Please note that regulations vary from council to council so check with your council before using grey water. For more information on grey water, please visit SA Water.
* A deep water means the water gets through the lawn and deep into the soil underneath. This encourages the roots to establish. To help you determine how long you will need to provide a deep water, we recommend placing an ice-cream container on the lawn under the sprinklers. Time how long it takes for the container to collect 2.5cm (1 inch) of water. This is considered a deep water.