Refrain From Doing These Common Lawn Watering Mistakes!

Written by Ian Thompson

Ian holds a Masters in Turf Management from Sydney University, has over 20 years experience working as a golf course Superintendent, turf manager, product formulation and development. We call him our resident Lawn genius.

Having a green, vibrant lawn is a feeling like no other. It’s something to be proud of when friends and family come over, it’s great for kids and pets. It even adds value to your home. However, it can look very unappealing when a lawn isn’t well maintained. If your lawn isn’t looking green and healthy, several different factors could be causing these issues. However, poor watering techniques is one of the leading causes to consider. When your lawn isn’t receiving the proper amount of water at the right time, numerous issues can occur.

In regards to watering techniques, there are many common mistakes that homeowners make. Changing your watering practices can be achieved easily and result in a gorgeous yard that’s full of life.

Here are five common lawn watering mistakes to avoid.

Overwatering Lawn

Life depends on water. Without it, nothing would grow and function properly. However, while too little water is a very bad thing, too much of it can also cause problems. 

As many homeowners are worried about not watering enough, they can run into problems when overwatering—making the yard look much worse. Just like your lawn needs water, your soil needs oxygen. When the soil is waterlogged (the water is filling up all the pore spaces leaving no space for air) the roots can’t breathe and the plant starts to go into shock. Think of it as holding your breath, the longer you hold it, the harder it is to recover. The same is true for lawns, while a short period of waterlogged soil won’t hurt to much a longer period starts to become toxic and will eventually kill the lawn.

 Experts recommend researching the best watering practices for your specific lawn. It’s also best to conserve water at all times.

Related: Lawn Watering Guide: Best Time To Water Lawn

Underwatering Lawn

As we mentioned previously, overwatering your lawn can lead to several issues. However, not enough water can also cause complications. Finding the perfect amount can be challenging, that’s why we recommend you dig a hole… Yep, digging a hole in your lawn after watering can give you great insight into how deep your water has infiltrated (gone in). You should be watering about 6 inches down into the soil. 

If your grass is blue in colour or the leaf blade is shrinking, or if it doesn’t spring back after walking on it, then  you may need to add more water. Finding the ideal water practices can lead to outstanding results!

Using a handheld Sprayer, not a Sprinkler

Even if you water your lawn for a long period, you could be using the wrong type of sprayer. Each sprayer nozzle has a different flow rate, so can be 1-3L/min (as a general rule). So spending 20mins watering can differ up to 3 times depending on what setting you’re using. As a general rule, a sprinkler will put out alot more. Not convinced, simply dig a hole and see how low it takes for you to water to a good depth of 6 inches.

Make sure you find sprinklers designed for your specific lawn size, including models that provide the perfect amount of water.

Not using a wetting agent

If you don’t know what a wetting agent is then you’re missing out. After both prolonged dry or wet periods, soil (especially sands) can become hydrophobic. This means they repel water! If you see water rolling off the surface or “pooling” then you may have a problem with hydrophobicity. An application of LawnPlay Aquaturf can help the water move in faster.

Related: Lawn Care 101: Our Top Tips on How to Care for Your Lawn

Watering at The Wrong Time

Watering your lawn is a process that can take a while to master. As no two lawns are the same, finding that ideal water amount can be tricky. But while it’s important to consider how much you water, you also want to think about when you will water. If you water your lawn at the wrong time, issues can happen. Experts recommend watering your grass early in the morning, between 6-10 am. This helps reduce the time that the leaf is wet, a precursor for lawn disease, it also means the soil is wet for the hottest part of the day.


As there are several common lawn watering mistakes out there, these issues do happen. Luckily, fixing the problem is usually pretty straightforward. By avoiding the mistakes listed above, you can reap the benefits of a green, healthy lawn.

If you’re searching for fertilisers, weed control, or several other lawn care products, contact The Lawn Shed today. Our experienced professionals are here for your lawn care needs.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does an overwatered lawn look like?

It starts by yellowing of old leaves, signs of fungal disease and even weeds like Nutgrass (a sedge) which loves wet feet. 

Is watering your lawn every day bad?

Watering every single day can be problematic. You should only water the grass when the soil starts to dry out. Watering infrequently (say every 3-4 days) can help  your lawn by making the roots chase after water..

Should you water the lawn at night?

The best time of day to water your lawn is in the morning before the day is at its hottest. Watering at night could lead to fungus issues, but it’s still better than not watering at all.

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