Burnt Grass – Irrigation, Sprinklers …WATER!

Does your lawn look like this?

So… is your lawn looking a little dry?

In the 31 days of the month of May 2016 we had a total of 27mm of rain which breaks down to  8 days of rain at 4mm, 1mm, 2mm, 7mm, 6mm, 1mm, 3mm and another 3mm. That with a combination of cooler weather may be what saved lawns in May. However , now as of June 24th 2016 again we are again at a mere total of 27mm of rain, which breaks down 5 days of rain averaging at a tiny quantity of 5mm per rain fall. The average rain accumulation for the month of June in Toronto is 71mm.

Dry grass
Maybe patchy dead areas

This is an urgent situation. You can’t manually squeeze the clouds for rain, and I don’t know that a Rain Dance has ever proven to produce any non-coincidental precip. So what to do?



Quenching Water
Quench your thirst


You must quench your lawns thirst. Little else will salvage lawns under these very dry conditions.



WhenWater your lawn between 5am and 8am or 8pm and 11pm

Quantity: A minimum of 30 minutes, a minimum of 3 days a week (MINIMUM)

How: Sprinkler Irrigation System, above ground irrigation or hand held hose. Whichever method you use to water your grass, make sure the water reaches every inch of lawn.

WhyIt is best to water early in the morning (or late in the evening). Watering in the heat or direct sun evaporates most of the water before it has a chance to thoroughly penetrate, and the water that does penetrate will end up boiling the grass roots. 30 minutes of watering in the morning will get approx. 1 ½ into the ground, which would be enough to keep the grass going for a couple days. Ideally, a good deep watering of 6inches is of utmost benefit and recommendation. The deeper you water the deeper the roots will settle.


Sprinkler irrigationProfessionally installed permanently in the ground and are attached permanently to a home’s plumbing system. It often operates on timers and is occasionally installed with retractable heads for aesthetic and practical reasons (making damage during lawn mowing less likely).


Triple head Watering

Sprinkler on grass

Above Ground Sprinkler




This does not need to be professionally installed and is quite affordable.  It usually comes in two basic varieties, one sprinkler head attachment with multiple holes for water spray, or a single attachment with multiple water heads. Either option simply attaches to a standard household garden hose.


Garden HoseThis one is exactly as it sound. Make sure to use a head that creates enough pressure for a broad and far coverage. It may be a bit annoying to walk around your yard with a water hose for 30 minutes. If you must use this option, try to make it therapeutic. A cup of coffee and a radio with the morning news? Or if in the evening, then a glass of wine and your favorite podcast?


Whichever method of watering you choose, remember, that prolonged drought will eventually kill your lawn. All the money you spent on fertilizer, weed control and seed & soil during the Spring will be wasted. Sod installation is not cheap….and to think something as simple as water could have solved it all. Now yes, I’m aware that water costs home owners money. But the water bill will be far less of an impact than having to replace your whole lawn.  Also, some areas have restrictions on watering lawns or washing cars etc., but to save yourself potential thousands in future expenses you must push those boundaries or petition against the restriction.

For more details on how to properly water see a previous blog post: When to Water



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