Sprinkler watering a lawn.

Watering Wisely: Lawn Irrigation Tips for Toronto Residents and Business Owners

Watering lawns may seem simple, but there are practices to follow to ensure the grass stays in tip-top shape. We’ll list some of the most important ones in this article.

What to Know About Watering a Lawn

Importance of Watering Wisely

Watering is not just about supplying moisture to your lawn; it is about providing the right amount of hydration when and where it counts. Too much water and the grass roots will rot and suffocate, leading to death. You’ll also have to deal with higher water bills. Too little water and the grass will dry out, eventually turning brown.

To keep your lawn green and healthy, you must water it properly. Ensure you determine the right amount of water your lawn needs, understand the local climate, and get the timing right. Installing an irrigation system also helps, as it makes watering more controlled and effortless.

Seven Lawn Irrigation Tips for Toronto Residents and Business Owners

Here are seven tips for using an irrigation system to ensure your lawn gets enough water to grow green and healthy.

1. Understand the Local Climate

Understanding your local climate is necessary because it will influence watering frequency. Toronto experiences a varied climate throughout the year. During summer, the hot, dry weather will require more frequent watering. We recommend watering your lawn once every week for 4 hours from May 1st to September 1st.

Consider investing in a rain gauge to monitor rainfall levels in your area and determine whether or not the rainwater is enough for the lawn. If you have an irrigation system, a rain gauge can help you see how much water you’ve applied.

2. Invest in Weather-Responsive Smart Irrigation Systems

Installing a manual irrigation system can save you time and water. However, you must still decide when to turn the system on and off every day. This means there’s a chance you may forget to shut the valve off after turning it on, leading to overwatering and lawn damage.

Fortunately, homeowners are not limited to manual irrigation systems anymore. Technology has come a long way, and you can now find smart irrigation systems. They come in many types, like systems that determine water needs based on soil moisture content.

You can also find weather-responsive irrigation systems. This system uses real-time local weather data to adjust irrigation automatically. After setting up the system, you won’t have to worry about learning what the best schedule for an irrigation system is. This path is ideal if you’re too busy or planning to leave your property for a vacation.

3. Set Up Your Irrigation System Correctly

Lawn irrigation systems offer many benefits, but it’s crucial that you set them up properly. An improperly installed irrigation system will cause many problems, like massive water wastage, burst pipes, and pooling water in your lawn. Your grass may even die if you give it too little or too much water.

There’s no shortage of DIY irrigation system installation guides online. However, consider the risk of an improperly installed irrigation system before going down the DIY path. If you don’t have experience installing an irrigation system or aren’t confident you can do it on your own, hiring an expert from lawn irrigation companies near you will be worth it.

If you choose the DIY path, place the sprinkler heads strategically to ensure 100% coverage. Familiarize yourself with your home’s water system because water sources can impact the water availability and flow rate. Getting the pressure right is also necessary, so don’t forget to measure it.

4. Use Rain Barrels

Watering lawns and gardens accounts for much of the water used by residential properties in Canada. If you want to reduce your water bill and help the environment, consider installing rain barrels under downspouts and using rainwater for your lawn.

Rain barrels effectively capture rainwater from your home’s roof and store it for later use. Aside from helping you save money, rain barrels are good for the environment because they reduce runoff.

Rainwater doesn’t infiltrate into the ground. Instead, it flows across impervious surfaces and picks up pollutants along its way. If you don’t collect rainwater, those pollutants can end up in waterways and harm aquatic life and human health. In addition, massive amounts of stormwater runoff can increase flooding and erosion.

Rain barrels come in different sizes to meet the needs of homes and large buildings. If you have a wide rooftop, connect multiple barrels to capture more water. Don’t forget to check and clean the barrel regularly to prevent mosquitoes from using it as their breeding ground. Disconnect the barrel in winter to protect it from cracking.

5. Time Your Watering Properly

Proper watering entails doing so at the most optimal times of the day. Watering your lawn at certain times often leads to problems like fungal growth and the inability of plants to absorb enough water.

Early morning is the best time for watering, whether you’re using a garden hose, sprinkler, or irrigation device. At this time of day, water will not evaporate quickly because the temperature is not yet too hot. The grass will have ample time to absorb the water. Also, any excess water will evaporate as soon as the temperature rises. This prevents standing water on leaves, which often causes fungal disease.

6. Adjust Sprinkler Heads to Match the Shape of Your Lawn

The sprinkler head should complement the unique contour of your lawn, and the coverage radius and spray pattern should match your lawn’s dimensions. Otherwise, you’ll likely see patches turning brown or looking withered.

If you see patches of dying or dead grass, it’s time to check your sprinkler’s coverage. Spray heads can become misaligned over time, even under the best circumstances. This may be due to kids and pets playing in the yard or movements from a lawn mower. Readjust as necessary.

Various sprinkler head types are available, including pop-up sprinklers, rotary heads, and flood blubbers. The intricacy of the adjustment job will likely depend on which system you have. But you usually only need a small flathead screwdriver unless you have specialized rotor heads.

7. Fine-Tune Your Irrigation System

Your lawn irrigation system in Toronto will require regular maintenance to work efficiently year after year. Certain practices, like improper winterization and damage from lawn equipment, can cause serious problems, like leaks.

In addition to adjusting sprinkler heads, inspect the system for leaks and broken pipes. If left undetected, leaks and broken pipes can cause massive water waste. Check for other possible problems as well, like clogging. Don’t forget to test backflow preventers, which protect your home’s water supply from contamination.

To prolong the service life of your irrigation system, don’t forget to winterize it before the cold comes to prevent freeze damage. When spring arrives, perform a thorough system checkup to detect winter damage, like broken pipes. If there are worn-out and damaged parts, ensure you install quality replacements. Finally, check that the system is in tip-top shape before the hot and dry summer comes.

Keep Your Lawn Thriving

Watering lawns isn’t as simple as it sounds, but you’re now equipped with the knowledge you need to help you get the task right. Your lawn’s future will shine brighter thanks to your dedication to learning tips and trips in lawn irrigation.

However, keeping a lush, green lawn takes more than just proper watering. The LawnMart team is always available to take care of your lawn’s other needs, including fertilizing and weed control. Our team is also happy to share more watering tips, so feel free to contact us to learn more.

Michael Schäfer

President – LawnMart Inc.

Years of Experience: 31 Years

  • Land Class 1 and 3 Licenses Since 1993
  • Pest Control Operator License Since 1995
  • PIC Accredited Pest Technician Examiner Since 2004
  • Biting Flies Control License Since 2020

Michael Schäfer is President and Founder of LawnMart Inc. After training privately under Dr. Larry Whiddell of Ohio State University, he became a Lawn Technician at Barefoot Grass Lawn Services (1993) and leveled up to Tree/Shrub Care Manager before taking over all Canadian operations as Area Manager. In 1996, Michael founded LawnMart Inc., which has since grown into a multi-award-winning company that cares for thousands of lawns in the Golden Horseshoe area.