Should You Water The Lawn In The Sun?

Watering the lawn should not be so difficult. After all, the lawn only needs a little water from the sprinkler and it should be satisfied. Lawn is also considered low maintenance and not something exotic plant that would require special attention.

However, the truth is that even when sprinkling the lawn can make mistakes.

Watering the lawn in the sun

The lawn should be watered at regular intervals. Rain usually does not bring in enough water for the lawn to grow.

When watering, a distinction should be made as to whether the lawn is young and fresh or already firmly rooted.

Young lawns must be watered at shorter intervals. This can not yet absorb as much water and therefore smaller amounts of water should be given to the lawn at shorter intervals.

Older turf is firmly rooted to the soil. It can absorb more water overall through the roots. The intervals between watering sessions can be longer and the amount of water per watering session can be increased.

Better to sprinkle the lawn in the morning or evening
However, what about if you don’t have an automatic irrigation system with a square sprinkler available and you water the lawn manually?

Then you don’t always have the time to water the lawn at a specific time. After all, there are other obligations in life and lawn care does not always have to be the top priority.

If you had a choice, is watering in the morning or evening better?

Ideally, the lawn should be watered during the morning hours. The time can even be determined between three and four in the morning. Here, the lawn has already cooled down a bit and the warm midday sun is also still a long way off.

If you only have time in the evening to blast the lawn, then this is not ideal for the health of the lawn. For one thing, the soil is still warmed up from the midday sun and a lot of water evaporates unused. Much more serious, however, is that the lawn can no longer dry properly. When sprinkling, the sun has the disadvantage that a lot of water evaporates, but also the advantage that the lawn dries faster.

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If the lawn does not dry then fungus in the lawn or other diseases are encouraged. Pests such as slugs could also be attracted to the sodden lawn.

So the perfect time to blast the lawn is during the morning hours. To avoid waking up between three and four in the morning yourself, an automatic watering system is a good idea.

The burning glass effect

But what about sprinkling the lawn during the sunny hours?

A frequently used argument against watering the lawn during the midday hours and when the sun is at its highest is the burning glass effect. This is said to have a particularly harmful effect on the lawn.

But does the burning glass effect really exist or is this just a myth among anxious gardeners?

The theory behind the burning glass effect is that the water on the lawn causes the light to be bundled and can subsequently damage the lawn. The bundling of the light would create such a high temperature that the lawn would literally burn.

The effect can also be compared to a magnifying glass. If, with the help of a magnifying glass, the light is focused on a certain point during the midday sun, then a great deal of heat is generated there.

However, when blasting the lawn during the midday sun, this fear is unfounded. The burning glass effect already fails because the water drops do not focus the light.

On the contrary, due to the evaporation of the water during the great heat, the lawn is still cooled. The burning glass effect is therefore a myth that has been disproved by experts.

Water evaporation

Nevertheless, it should be noted that blasting the lawn during the strong sunshine is not ideal. The burning glass effect does not have a negative impact on the health of the lawn as has now been shown, but when the blazing sun shines on the lawn, the water evaporates more quickly.

This results in the plants only being able to absorb a small amount of water. Sprinkling when the sun is shining causes more water to be applied to the plants. Otherwise, they would not be able to absorb enough liquid.

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Avoid a state of emergency

Rasen bei Sonne bewässern

Watering plants is best in the morning. But does this mean that during the midday sun watering is completely taboo?

No, because if you do not have the opportunity to water the lawn in the morning, then you should not wait until the evening or the next day. The rule here is that it is better to water the lawn at noon than to let it die of thirst.

If potted plants are in the sun, then they can be placed in the shade for one to three hours. During this time, the pot can be placed in a bucket with water.

For plants in beds, proceed with caution. The liquid is absorbed through the roots. Try as best you can to reach the roots and not spread the water on the leaves. In the bed, it is best if you water in small bursts. This allows it to seep into the soil step by step.

The lawn can also be watered in this way. Instead of watering the lawn extensively once, it may be better to water it in small amounts, but more often during midday.

However, these short intervals are suitable only for emergency immediate measures. If you want to harden the plants and better prepare them for the sun, then you should water the lawn only every few days. For this, however, you should apply a large amount of water. This ensures that fine roots dig deep into the soil.

Sprinkle the lawn in the sun with the garden hose

Lawn sprinklers are very convenient for watering the garden. But unfortunately, you have the disadvantage that most of the water does not penetrate into the soil, but lands on the leaves and evaporates there.

If you want to achieve the best result, then spreading the water with a garden hose is more suitable. The garden hose is simply placed on the lawn and then the entire lawn is watered once manually. This gives you better control over where the water actually arrives, and the soil benefits immensely from this type of watering.

To check how deep the water has penetrated the soil, you can use a spade to briefly lift the soil and see how deep the moisture has gone. Before you just blast away, you can do this test and better assess how much water the lawn actually needs.

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Blasting the lawn when it’s sunny is actually not ideal. High evaporation of the water results in only a small percentage of the water actually penetrating the soil.

However, the much-described burning glass effect is a myth that does not occur with lawns. The water does not focus the light; in fact, evaporation actually cools the turf.

Studies have shown that the burning glass effect can only occur under very special conditions. As a rule, this should not be a problem.

The best time to water the lawn is in the morning. Between three and four o’clock watering the lawn has an optimal effect. The water hardly evaporates, but at the same time the lawn becomes dry when the first rays of sunlight hit the lawn in the morning.

If you have no other option, then sprinkling the lawn at noon is still better than simply letting the lawn die of thirst. You will achieve better results with a garden hose than with a lawn sprinkler.

With these tips, you should have the knowledge necessary to find the best time to water the lawn. An automatic irrigation system with retractable sprinklers is useful to keep this time.


  • James Jones

    Meet James Jones, a passionate gardening writer whose words bloom with the wisdom of an experienced horticulturist. With a deep-rooted love for all things green, James has dedicated his life to sharing the art and science of gardening with the world. James's words have found their way into countless publications, and his gardening insights have inspired a new generation of green thumbs. His commitment to sustainability and environmental stewardship shines through in every article he crafts.

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