There are pros and cons of nighttime watering. At night there will be no evaporation so you will not lose water off your lawn. It will prevent scorching the roots and the grass will absorb water more efficiently. Watering at night does have a higher risk of mold and mildew growth.
It is a myth that you cannot water your lawn at night. If the weather is warm watering in the early mornings or even at night is will help to reduce evaporation. The best time to water your lawn is anywhere from 2am-10am.
This time allows the lawn to absorb the water and dry off before the weather warms up too much during the day.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Mowing Lawn at Night
There are both advantages and disadvantages to watering your lawn at night. Let’s take a look at the advantages first.
Advantages of Mowing Lawn at Night
After the sun goes down, there is no evaporation or transpiration occurring, which means that the water you’re using is being used more efficiently. You won’t lose water from the blades of grass or from the soil, so if the place where you live is suffering from a drought, watering your lawn at night might be your smartest option.
Prevents Root Scorching
The cooler nighttime temperatures also help prevent scorching of the roots, which can happen when it’s hot during the daytime. When the sun is out, the water and soil can heat up and scorch the roots, but that doesn’t happen at night.
Grass Takes up Water More Efficiently
The grass also rests at night from its photosynthesizing duties, which means they take in the water more efficiently. Finally, watering your lawn at night is easier on you because dragging around a hose or sprinkler is easier to do when you’re not walking around in the hot sun.
Disadvantages of Watering Lawn at Night
There are disadvantages of watering your lawn at night however. Check them out below.
Difficult to Water Evenly
The first one is that you cannot see what you’re doing at night, so it’s possible you might not water the area evenly.
This also happens if your sprinkler head breaks or becomes altered in any way. Even worse, you likely won’t notice this problem until patches of grass start to die.
Mold or Mildew
There is also the possibility of mold or mildew related infections. Certain fungi thrive at night, not to mention that when the grass is wet and it’s cool and dark outside, the chance of an infection is greatly increased. This happens often in areas that stay humid, but it can happen in other places, too.
Is Night Time the Best Time to Water Grass?
When you water your lawn, you want the soil to absorb as much of the water as possible without it being too much water. If you water your lawn in the afternoon when it’s hot, the water will evaporate quickly, and your grass may not get what it needs to grow and thrive.
If you water your lawn at night, it might receive too much water, and the result could be a mildewy infection.
What most experts recommend is to water your lawn before 10 a.m. each day. This way, the sun is not nearly as hot as it is later in the day, and the water is used more efficiently.
Watering the lawn in the afternoon might mean it’s too hot for the soil to get the water it needs, while watering at night might mean the soil is getting too much water.
It’s a delicate balance, but one thing to remember is that watering your lawn at night is not nearly as disastrous as what you’ve likely heard in the past, even from the experts.
Is It OK to Water the Lawn at 2 a.m.? How about 3 a.m.?
Watering the lawn in the middle of the night is not that much different than watering it in the early evening hours right after the sun goes down. The main difference is that there is less time for the water to absorb before the sun comes up, but that is not always a bad thing.
As long as it doesn’t get incredibly hot first thing in the morning, you should be fine because the water will absorb slowly into the soil, which means it is being used more efficiently.
Why Is It Better to Water Your Lawn at Night instead of During the Day?
There are both pros and cons to watering your lawn at night, but the main advantage is that the water is being used more efficiently. The hot sun won’t scorch the roots of the grass, and the soil won’t absorb the water too quickly, which means the water is going right where it needs to go and isn’t being wasted.
As long as you’re careful not to make it too wet—which might cause mold or mildew to form—you should be safe watering the lawn in the evening hours.
How Many Minutes Should You Water Your Lawn?
Watering the lawn the right amount of time is crucial. Water your lawn twice a week, and each time, you should aim to make sure 1-1.5 inches of the soil are watered sufficiently which can take anywhere from 20-40 minutes depending on the water pressure.
You shouldn’t over-water but instead aim for soil that is watered well down to 1.5 inches deep.
Should You Water the Lawn Every Day in Hot Weather?
Watering your lawn every day is usually detrimental, even in hot weather. If the weather is hotter than usual, water your lawn three times a week for about 20 minutes each time.
Even when the weather is scorching hot, there is no need to water the lawn more than three times a week.
Water the Lawn in Winter
If you have winters that stay cold, your grass will become dormant and will need less water.. If the weather gets above around 40 degrees Fahrenheit regularly, aim to give the lawn about one inch of water per week.
You still need to water the lawn in winter in many cases, but you won’t be watering it nearly as often.
Watering your lawn at night is not as bad as what you’ve been taught to believe. Consider your climate and the lawn itself. It is best to water the lawn in the early morning so it has a chance to absorb the water before it evaporates.
I am an accredited practicing dietitian, experienced gardener and a dedicated cook. I love writing and sharing my experience so you can learn from my successes and mistakes.