When is the Best Time of Day to Water?

Mastering Watering

Green perfection in your lawn may seem an impossible task when the temperatures start climbing in the middle of the year. It seems like one morning, you wake up, and your beautiful, springy green turf is suddenly a brown travesty of its earlier glory. The tricks of years of lawn care and maintenance tend to sound contradictory at first glance. Some people say “water in the middle of the day,” and others say overnight watering is the ideal, because there is no chance of evaporation. How can you sift through the chaff and find the truth?

sprinkler system | Best time of day to water lawn

“Your future is looking green….”

In the south, our summers are hot, and start off wet. But by the end of the “dog days,” plants and people alike are all buy crying for water. Our big, open skies mean that the sun comes up fast, and things heat up just as fast. Our nights come on slow, and it seems like a blink before here comes the sun again. (do-do-do-dooo, did you catch the song reference?) So, for a green lawn in the hottest days of summer, what should you do?

Look to the plants.

Plants begin drawing water from the soil the moment the sun touches their leaves. It’s their wake-up call. So, the best time to water, so as much as possible is available to plants when they need it, is in the morning, right before sunrise. There is minimal wind on most days, at this time, and water droplets will remain where they fall; the plants will not have to fight the evaporative effects from the sun, and they will have soaked up as much as they need by the time the sun gets hot enough to scorch.

Save the Steam for the Stovetop

In our humid climate, steaming is a concern, and not just for those of the human persuasion. Plants create delicate micro-ecosystem under their leaves. When the sun begins to climb, and evaporation really gets going, that vapor (steam) can get trapped beneath leaves. This essentially can steam-cook your plants, like you steam your veggies for your dinner. If you water too late in the morning, or even toward the middle of the day, your plants will wilt almost before your eyes. Watering before the sun really gets cooking is the only solution.

What about watering overnight?

With falling temperatures, every night, dew begins to condense on every available surface. Adding to the condensation of dew by watering in the evening or overnight can cause water to cling to plant surfaces, in far too much volume for the plant to absorb before morning. This can create a habitat specially made for disease, fungus, and pests. Too much water, at the wrong time, could be a death sentence for your beautiful lawn.

sprinkler watering night

So, to condense….

Watering in the morning, just before sunup, is the best solution. There are further points regarding soil construction and content (clay or sand), plant type and variety, and other factors that can influence amount of water; but those would be too much to go into detail in this post. If you want the best hydration solutions for your lawn, it is always best to invest in a quality automatic sprinkler system, which senses the amount of water in your soil and adjusts watering accordingly. These systems can be calibrated for all of the different factors that make your lawn unique. Contact Andy’s Sprinkler, Drainage & Lighting today for a consultation, and get the green lawn of your dreams!