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Outdoor Water Use

Lawn Watering and Irrigation

The way in which you water your lawn is just as important as how often and how much you water your lawn.  It is important to choose the right irrigation system for your landscape.


  • Water your lawn and garden only when necessary and according to municipal by-laws.
  • Purchase a rain gauge to determine how much rain or irrigation your yard has already received each week.
  • Look for signs of overwater such as leaves turning yellow or lighter green, or algae and fungi growth
  • Water your plants deeply but less frequently to create healthier and stronger landscapes
  • Adjust your lawn watering schedule and method so that it is specific to your lawn’s soil condition as well as to the weather.
  • Avoid overwatering.  Watering your lawn too much and too often will cause shorter root systems to develop making it susceptible to dry conditions.  One inch of water per week is enough.
  • The best time to water your lawn or garden is the early morning.  Avoid watering in the late evening which can cause long periods of dampness increasing the risk of disease and fungus.  In general, avoid watering during the day as well as on windy days and do not leave sprinklers on for the entire day.
  • Set your lawn mower blades higher. Longer grass means less evaporation and deeper roots.
  • Avoid using a lawn sprinkler.  If you must use a sprinkler, install a water efficient component such as a low rise sprinkler head, soaker hoses, or a drip irrigation system.  Make sure you are not watering sidewalks and driveways.
  • Consider using a drip or trickle irrigation system for landscaped areas and flower beds. 
  • When selecting plants and grass to reseed your landscape, consider drought-resistant grasses and plants.
  • Group plants with the same watering needs together to get the most out of your watering time.
  • To maintain healthy plants, including trees and shrubs, water needs to reach deep down to their roots.  The best way to do this is to use a garden hose at the base of a tree that drips at a rate of approximately 3 drips per second. The watering time required is dependent on the size of the plant.  Watering times range from one hour for a rose bush to four hours for an old tree.
  • Regularly check that your sprinkler and timer system is operating properly.
  • Outfit your hose with a shut-off nozzle which can adjust the water flow rate.
  • Eliminate hose and tap leaks by using hose washers between the spigot and the water hose.



Are you tired of having to weed your garden, mow the lawn and prune your shrubs on your day off?  Stressed over high water bills in the summer?  Maybe you should consider alternatives to the current high maintenance, high water demand landscapes  typically found in London today.  Consider Naturescaping in order to save time, money, water, fuel and fertilizer!

Did you know?

  • Lawns do not need to be watered every day!  A healthy lawn only requires 25 mm or 1 inch of rain per week.
  • Operating a typical gas-powered lawnmower for one hour pollutes as much as driving a car for 560 kilometres.  This is like driving to Barrie and back! These air pollutants contribute to climate change and smog which can damage human health.

Tips and Added Benefits:

  • Properly placing deciduous trees on the south and west side of your house will shade your home efficiently to ensure lower air conditioning bills in the summer.  Also, healthy trees may increase property values.
  • Planting coniferous trees on the north and east sides of your home protects it from cold winter winds allowing you to save money on your heating bills in winter months.
  • Place a layer of mulch around trees and plants.  Bark, compost, organic material mulch or peat moss will slow down evaporation and help keep the soil moist and healthy.
  • When landscaping, use native or other low water use plants.  Check with your local nursery for the best native or low-water use trees, shrubs, and plant species.
  • Decrease the risk of overwatering by grouping plants with similar water needs together.
  • Consider replacing your grass with drought-resistant native plants and ground cover.  You will save money and time maintaining it.
  • The best time to water your lawn or garden is the early morning.  Avoid watering in the late evening which can cause long periods of dampness increasing the risk of disease and fungus.  In general, avoid watering during the day as well as on windy days.
  • Harvest rainwater or position downspouts and other runoff towards shrubs and trees.
  • Match plants and grasses to the conditions present in your property (e.g., soil and sunlight conditions)
  • Use a lawn aerator to help soil breathe and maintain its health.
  • Raise your lawn mower blade to a height of 7.5 cm (or 3 inches)
  • Leave grass clippings on your lawn as they add nutrients to the soil.
  • Water your lawn once a week with 25 mm (1 inch) of water unless it has rained. 
  • Use a soaker hose to water your garden beds. Healthy plants in your gardens require 25 mm of water per week.  Watering infrequently promotes the production of deeper roots in plants.
  • Pull weeds by hand when the soil is moist.
  • Spread organic material such as compost on your lawn each year.
  • Apply natural fertilizer in late spring and fall.
  • Spread mulch (such as leaves, bark chips) in garden beds and around trees.
  • Only mow the lawn when needed during the growing season.  Remove only a third of the blade at each mowing.  Leave clippings on your lawn as they provide valuable nutrients and moisture.
  • Overseed your lawn in the late spring or mid-August to mid-October.  Ask representative at your garden centre to recommend a suitable grass mix.
  • New trees planted in your yard need to be watered with 2 to 3 cm of water per week for the first two seasons.  Beginning in the third season, they need to be watered every 2 to 3 weeks during a dry period or once a month for older trees.
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