Questionnaire: What Do You Know About Watering?

With droughts and water shortages increasingly becoming a regular feature of the British summer – at least when we’re not being flooded, that is – keeping a lawn in tip-top condition often means resorting to a spot of extra watering. The idea’s simple enough but there’s more to doing it than simply grabbing your hose and turning on the tap.

So, what do you know about watering? Are you an expert, completely at home with sprinkler systems and nozzles, or do you trust rather more to luck and a good watering can? If you’ve ever wondered, here’s a quick little questionnaire to find out.

The answers are at the bottom – good luck!

1. Which of these is the sign that now is the time to start watering in dry weather?

  • a) Grass fades to a grey/green colour.
  • b) Grass loses its ‘springiness’.
  • c) Grass goes yellow.

2. Why do some kinds of weeds get a boost if a lawn isn’t properly watered?

  • a) Their seeds germinate better in dry conditions.
  • b) They don’t tolerate damp conditions well.
  • c) They resist drought better than grass.

3. In dry weather, how should you adjust your mowing regime?

  • a) Cut the grass shorter.
  • b) Let it grow longer.
  • c) Cut it more often.

4. How often should you water in a prolonged warm, dry spell?

  • a) Daily.
  • b) Weekly.
  • c) Fortnightly.

5. When it’s hot and dry, you can never have too much water – is that

  • a) True?
  • b) False?

6. When are the best times of day to water?

  • a) Morning and evening.
  • b) Morning and afternoon.
  • c) Afternoon and evening.

7. After watering, how deep below the surface should the soil should be saturated?

  • a) 1-2 inches.
  • b) 2-3 inches.
  • c) 4-6 inches.

8. How can you help improve the effect of watering on a heavy soil?

  • a) Pricking the surface with a fork before watering.
  • b) Watering little and often.
  • c) Raking after watering.

9.Which type of grass is the LEAST drought resistant?

  • a) Bents.
  • b) Fescues.
  • c) Rye grass.

10. And finally, how much water does a typical dry lawn actually need?

  • a) 1 gallon per square yard.
  • b) 4 gallons per square yard.
  • c) 14 gallons per square yard.


1. (b) when grass begins to lose its springiness, it’s time to start watering.

2. (c) some kinds of weeds, including clover and yarrow, are tolerant of drought conditions, leaving them ready to spread quickly if the lawn grasses have been weakened by the lack of enough water.

3. (b) letting it grow a little longer will help it deal with drought, so think about raising the height of the mower blades, and cutting it less often.

4. (b) in a prolonged warm, dry spell, giving your lawn a proper watering once a week will normally be ideal, rising to twice a week if it’s really hot.

5. (b) it’s false. Too much water can be almost as damaging as too little, so its important to avoid water-logging your lawn at all costs!

6. (a) the best times to pick for watering are when conditions are cool to minimise evaporation, so morning and evening are ideal, avoiding the full heat of the afternoon sun.

7. (c) ideally the top 4-6 inches of soil beneath the lawn should be thoroughly saturated after a watering, giving the grass enough water to survive until next time.

8. (a) a good spiking with a fork before watering will improve the drainage of a heavy soil, helping the water percolate into the ground more effectively.

9. (a) The fine leaved bents are particularly susceptible to prolonged dry spells.

10. (b) the typical dry lawn in drought conditions needs around 4 gallons per square yard to properly saturate the soil.

So, How Did You Do?

  • 10 – Lush and green
  • 7 to 9 – Pretty springy
  • 3 to 6 – Slightly yellow
  • 0 to 2 – Parched

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