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Common Yard Irrigation Mistakes

Common Yard Irrigation Mistakes

Irrigation is very important when it comes to your lawn’s health. Good watering habits make grass roots grow stronger, which in turn makes the lawn more resistant to weeds, droughts and diseases! Even though it’s extremely important… there are many common mistakes that homeowners make when watering their lawn that can cause more harm than they do good.

Before we dive into this, we need to note that watering requirements vary by soil and weather conditions. You shoul always consult with a local lawn care specialist like MowTown to figure out the best irrigation technique for your specific yard. Our goal is to make sure you get the best results possible!


You know that feeling when you’re really thirsty and all you can think about is a HUGE glass of cold water? You drink it all in about 3 seconds and you instantly feel much better? Well, lawns are very different. Watering your lanw too much will not help your yard feel rejuvinated and satisfied. Excessive irrigation encourages shallow root systems which makes grass more suceptible to heat stress. That means your lawn will be more vulnerable to drought and will have a very hard time recovering!

Overwatering can also cause your lawn to become waterlogged, opening the “flood gates” for fungus and other lawn diseases. Squishy lawns don’t look good! But imagine how much worse it would look if fungus popped up as well.


Just like over-watering can cause issues for your lawn, so too can underwatering. Its best to irrigate deeply and infrequently (usually providing 1/3 of an inch of water about 3x weekly), under-watering will weaken you lawns resistance to drought. You can’t rely simply on rainfall to keep your lawn healthy and green – especially when it comes to newly planted grass. Make sure you’re consistantly watering your lawn during growing season.

Treating Grass & Shrubs the Same

Not all plants are created equally. Shrubs and other garden plants have large root systems when compared to grass. Because of this, they don’t need as much water to stay hydrated. Most garden plants and shrubberies need only half as much water as your lawn does. The best way to avoid over watering your shrubs is to water them seperately from your grass. That way, you can keep a close eye on how much irrigation they’re getting.

Incorrectly Using Irrigation Heads

Don’t turn your sprinkler system on during rainfall. Seems like a no-brainer, right? While its a simple rule to follow, it is also super important! We already went over the problems associated with overwatering your lawn and watering your lawn during rainfall is a surfire way to do this! If it rains a good amount, that should keep your lawn happy and hydrated for a few days.

In the same vein, you need to keep tabs on your sprinklers. Sometimes, irrigation systems go awry and some areas can get more water than others. Make sure your system covers your lawn evenly and equally. Also factor in the differences between sunny and shady areas. Sunny areas will need a little more water than the shaded areas of your yard.

TIP: Make sure you’re not wasting water!! An unadjusted sprinkler head often sprays water into the street or onto a sidewalk. Of all mistakes, adjusting your sprinkler heads is the easiest problem to solve. Save some water for the fishes!

Using Different Types of Irrigation Heads at the Same Time

Every type of sprinkler outputs a specifc amout of water over a given time frame. Rotor heads provide about 0.1 to 0.25 inches of irrigation per hour, while spray heads typically output 1.35 to 2.15 inches per hour. You should never have a spray head and a rotor head set to irrigate the same area of your yard.

Watering at the Wrong Time

There is tons of talk about the best time to water your lawn! Some people say evening is best, some people say morning. So what is the truth? Ideally, you want to water your lawn when there is less sunlight and less wind. Before 9am is the best time to water your lawn. If you water your lawn in the heat of the afternoon, the water will actually evaporate before even reaching the grass roots. Watering in the evening is even worse, because it creates conditions which attract fungus!

It can be overwhelming to take on all of this information at once! Thats why you should always consult a lawncare porfessional to find out what the best routine is for your specific yard. If you’re in the tri-state area, MowTown has got you covered – contact us today for a FREE lawncare quote!