6 Signs You Are Overwatering Your Grass/Lawn (and How to Fix/Prevent It)
There’s nothing quite like a lush green lawn to boost your home’s curb appeal. And of course, one of the best ways to achieve a green lawn is by watering it. But did you know that overwatering your grass can actually cause more harm than good?
Overwatering encourages shallow roots, pest infestations, fungus growth, and other problems. Here are some common telltale signs of overwatering lawns.
Why You Should Water Your Grass/Lawn
While it’s easy to overdo it if you’re not careful, watering your lawn is still important when done right. Watering provides moisture critical for grass growth and survival.
Sufficient water encourages deeper root systems, which lead to thicker and lusher lawns. With proper irrigation, you can supply essential nutrients to the soil, producing the beautiful green color you’d expect from a healthy lawn.
Grass that doesn’t get enough water becomes more prone to discoloration and disease. Of course, overwatering can cause the same problems, which is why getting your watering schedule just right will ensure that your lawn gets the hydration it needs without going overboard.
6 Signs of Overwatering Lawns
There are six key signs of overwatering grass you can be on the lookout for:
1. Puddles That Aren’t Draining
If you have puddles that aren’t draining, that means excess water is pooling on your lawn. Healthy soil readily absorbs water, while standing puddles indicate the soil is saturated or compacted.
One way you can test this is by seeing if water pools around sprinklers. Try running your sprinklers for a few minutes, and if you notice puddling around the sprinklers, then it’s a sign your lawn isn’t able to absorb the amount of water you’re applying.
2. Visible Mushrooms and Fungi
Overly damp conditions create an ideal environment for fungi to grow. The presence of mushrooms and fungi can point to this problem.
3. Remaining Footprints or a Spongy Feeling
If footprints leave impressions on your lawn, then you have overly wet soil. Healthy lawns spring back instantly when walked on.
Similarly, if your lawn feels squishy and spongy when you’re walking on it, then it’s a sign you’re watering too much.
4. Sparse Growth
Overwatered grass can struggle to grow and develop healthy roots. If you’re overwatering your lawn, you’ll notice thin areas or bare, patchy spots.
5. Pale Color
Overwatering can prevent oxygen from reaching the roots of the sod, effectively drowning them. This typically causes the blades to turn yellow and can lead to root rot.
6. Weeds and Pests
If you have a lot of weeds growing or bugs like chinch bugs, it’s a sign your lawn is too wet. Weeds and pests thrive in damp conditions.
How to Stop Overwatering Your Lawn
Fortunately, if you spot any of these common signs of overwatering grass, there are simple steps you can take to avoid continuing to overwater your lawn.
Water Early in the Morning
Watering in the evening leaves grass damp overnight, which can promote fungus growth. Watering first thing in the morning gives your lawn time to dry out.
Water Infrequently — But When You Do, Water Deeply
Water less often, but when you do, make sure to soak the soil. Deep watering encourages deeper root growth.
Ensure your sprinklers are hitting your lawn and not the sidewalk or street. Set the sprinklers to deliver between an inch to an inch and a half of water per week.
Let Grass Hibernate
Don’t fight nature — it’s a losing battle. When your grass starts to brown from the summer heat, let it hibernate. Resume watering in the fall. This is also a great way for you to avoid wasting water or high water bills.
Aerate Compacted Soil
If you notice you have compacted soil, try punching holes in your lawn so that the water can penetrate rather than run off.
Raise Your Mower Blade
Longer grass protects the roots and holds moisture better than a closely cropped lawn, so try raising your mower blade.
Check your hoses and sprinklers regularly for any leaks that can waste water.
How to Enjoy a Green, Healthy Lawn
A green, healthy lawn isn’t out of reach. Monitor your yard for these telltale signs of overwatering lawns, and make adjustments to your watering routine when needed. With attentive lawn care, you can keep your lawn healthy and avoid overwatering.
Grass Works has been providing Expert Residential & Commercial Local Lawn Care Services in Central Texas: Austin, Cedar Park, Round Rock, Avery Ranch, Bee Cave, Lakeway, Steiner Ranch & West Austin since 2007! Need help with your landscaping? Get a free estimate today!
Ferris MyCue is the founder and owner of Grass Works Lawn Care, LLC located in Leander, TX. As a former firefighter who maintained yards on his days off, he saw a need for a dependable, local maintenance company that knew the hill country climate and could deliver quality landscaping services for a reasonable price. Since 2007 he has used his leadership to grow the company into one of the top landscape maintenance companies in Austin and surrounding areas offering landscape maintenance, design, and irrigation services to both residential and commercial clients. Ferris is also a member of the Seasonal Employment Alliance (SEA) and an active participant in advocacy efforts to help promote cap relief.