Watering Your Lawn

The best time of day to water your lawn is in the early morning, as less water will evaporate, increasing the amount of water that the plants receive.

Avoid watering:

  • in the middle of the day when evaporation rates are highest
  • on windy days as the wind may redirect the water away from the desired areas
  • in the evening as the grass stays wet all night, thus increasing the risk of disease.

The key to successful lawn watering is to water slowly, deeply and infrequently. Complete drying between waterings will eliminate many lawn and garden disease problems.

Days that you can water your lawn

Hamilton's Water Works By-law No. R84-026 restricts lawn and garden watering, car washing and sidewalk or roadway washing to every other day:

  • If your home is even-numbered you are permitted to water on even numbered days.
  • If your home has an odd-numbered you are permitted to water on odd-numbered days.

For those residents without a municipal address:

  • If you live on the west side or north side of the street you are permitted to water on odd-numbered days.
  • If you live on the east side or south side of the street you are permitted to water on even-numbered days.

While there are no time restrictions, unless notified by letter or through the media, it is best to water in the early morning or late evening when the water demand is lower.

To complain about a neighbour who is watering their lawn on the incorrect day, call Municipal Law Enforcement at 905-546-2489 and report their exact address.

Fines

Residents watering on the incorrect day may:

  • receive a warning letter for the first offence
  • receive a $65 fine for the second offence

In the event of a watering ban, watering of lawns and gardens is prohibited.

Residents watering during a watering ban may:

  • receive a warning letter on the first offence
  • receive a $305 fine on the second offence
  • receive a summons to appear in court on the third offence

Hand watering using a jug or watering can is permitted.

Here are some tips for increasing your lawn’s root growth:

  • Frequent, light watering promotes shallow roots, weed germination and plants that are unable to tolerate dry periods.
  • It is best to water established lawns at the rate of 2.5 cm (1 inch) per week, applied at one time. By limiting the watering to once a week you will promote deep root development.
  • When watering your lawn, remember that the deeper the roots of your lawn are, the less frequently you need to water it.
  • When run-off occurs while watering your lawn and garden in sloped areas, shut off the water and allow the water to be absorbed into the ground. Repeat this process as necessary until sufficient water has been applied to your lawn.

Here are some tips for using a rain gauge:

  • Rain gauges are very simple to use. Most forms of rain gauges have a spike or a pointed end which is pushed into the ground and a measured container for collecting water.
  • Rain gauges measure natural precipitation and water applied while watering.
  • Placing a rain gauge in the area of your lawn or garden can show how much you have watered and stop when the appropriate amount has been reached.
  • Ideally, most lawns require only 2.5 cm (1 inch) of water per week.