In a healthy lawn, how deep should the roots be? I've been told it is
better to soak the lawn every 3rd day or so instead of watering a
little every day as that will inhibit the roots from growing deep into
A related question: Does a lawn start turning brown immediately if the
roots have no water or does it take a few days?
There are many varieties of grass, some with shallow roots others with
deep roots. Frequent small amounts of water is not good for most
plants. Grass roots will grow deeper if the lawn is kept at the
highest height practical for the particular uses of the lawn and
Most plants will wilt if not given enough water. Grass needs about 1"
of water per week, but less with lower temperature. Some varieties of
grass are more draught tolerant than others. I do not water my lawns
at all. It does turn brown with a 3-week draught, but turns green
again. Newly planted grass can not take a draught so easily.
It depends on your grass and your soil. You have to water enough that
it gets to the roots, so on an old established lawn a longer watering is
needed. On the other hand, when I lived in California, the soil was
very sandy and the water just ran through it, so anything but a short
watering was wasted.
If you have the time and interest, the best procedure is to water a
known time, then take a core sample and see how deep the water got, then
adjust your watering time and check again, until you are getting water
to just below the deepest roots, then adjust every year when the roots
have grown deeper.
Lawn roots usually grow deeper than the non-woody absorbing roots of trees.
Essential elements and water are absorbed to supply the required elements
that latter a nutrient can be produced. The tree absorbing roots mostly in
the upper four inches of soil.
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