Is it better to water in the morning or evening?

samnsarahMay 29, 2012

I have heard conflicting theories on what time of day to water. I have heard many people say that watering in the evening increases the risk of fungus and mildew. However, the article below seems to refute this theory. Watering in the evening would fit into my family's schedule much better, but I do not want to increase the chances of my Mums, Lantanas, Hostas, Ninebark 'Summer Wine', or Weigela 'Wine & Roses' becoming infected with fungus or mildew.

Please let me know what you advise.

Below is that link.

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo


My $0.05 is to stick to what is best with for you as far as when to water. Fungus and mildew have so many variable that watering time is insignificant. The major factors are humidity, rainfall frequency, wind, surrounding sources of fungus, etc. Just don't over-water which is very common for most problems. Check you watering intervals to allow your sol to dry out to slightly moist before applying any water again. Aloha

    Bookmark   May 29, 2012 at 11:10PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

After working a night job in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. my wife and I used to walk the neighborhood around 4-5 AM nightly to de-stress. We noticed that there was a house that had a great lawn. It seemed that the sprinklers would run sometime within that time frame and ran for no more than 5 min. It was one spectacular lawn. Most of the other lawns were watered by auto sprinklers at other times of the day and there wasn't very much to say about the quality of their grass other than it was present.
15 years later I was managing an apart bldg in Los Angeles that had auto sprinklers. Remembering the great lawn in Fla, I set the timers to water at 4 AM on Mon, Wed, & Fri for approximately 4 mins. The lawn, which was tended by a gardening service (meaning they cut the lawn once a week and applied fertilizer once a year whether it was needed or not), really took off. I ended up cutting the time to 2 min in the hot times of the year and 1 min in the winter. The building had the best lawn and plants of any building in the area. I concluded that short watering times in the early AM allows the water to soak into the ground before the sun can evaporate it, making more water available to the plants. Try my method and see if it will work for you. If it doesn't you can simply reset the timer for whatever times you feel are appropriate.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2012 at 4:38PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo


Makes sense to me and good advice. Exactly what beginners need to read. You were regular on the mowing each week, applied proper watering and fertilizing schedules. You watched what was happening to the grass and made sure you didn't over water. You actually cared about what you produced. That what good professionals do. Good job and congratulations. Aloha

    Bookmark   June 10, 2012 at 7:14PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thanks for all the advice. I was told by another grower to allow the plants a little bit of water stress as this will cause the roots to go down deeper. I'm not sure if that is good advice or not.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2012 at 8:42PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo


That advice is good in my opinion. It covers a few of the major axioms of gardening. This prevents you from over-watering( which is the most significant cause of death for plants). The general rule is a good deep soaking with a longer period drying in between(slight stress). This allows the maximum air spaces in the soil for the roots to reach out quicker. This also allows the roots to go deeper. Short watering cycles do the opposite. Everything you do affects the roots and therefore the entire plant. JMHO Aloha

    Bookmark   June 14, 2012 at 9:28PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I had the same question and did lots of reading. The "best" advice seems to water in early morning like weebee says, and the main reason is to avoid mold/mildew/fungus. However, I decided to water in the evening, because I believe the grass simply has more time to absorb water, as opposed to early morning where in a few hours the sun dries it out. Seems simple to me, and I personally have never seen mold or fungus in my grass.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2012 at 11:48AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

From my own research, fungus and mildew are like so many other things in the plant world. It's dependent on a lot of factors. Here in South Central Kansas, the wind blows and blows. If the air is not humid then mold and mildew are pretty much non-existent even if watering at night. However, if the air is humid and there is no wind and these conditions are sustained for a several days and nights in a row, then the conditions are right for mold and mildew.
I usually water in the morning, because that is what I prefer. It's nice to be able to get up early and water the plants when it�s quiet out and no one is around except for the birds and meditate and pray while I water.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2012 at 9:34AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
bostonbob(NE MA)

I probably water too much. I water each zone (5) for 20-25 mins in the morning, then if it is over 75 degrees or so, I water again after work. Today it is over 95 degrees (very rare here) and I have it set to go off at 6AM, 1PM and 5PM. I have a well so the cost is almost zero. The grass looks pretty green. I know that if I let it slip a day or too, it will brown up real quick (full sun).

    Bookmark   June 21, 2012 at 3:27PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Overwatering and underwatering is really based on soil content. I have sandy loam soil that drains very fast, so it is very difficult to overwater in my yard.
However, people who have a lot of clay in their soil find it very easy to overwater.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2012 at 5:15PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Try and always water in the early morning. If you water in the evening the turf will be wet all night. This will increase the changes of disease. On the golf course I work at we start watering after sunset because it takes all night to water but we leave the greens and tees until the early morning. Sometimes after the greens are cut.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2012 at 7:30PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
fairfield8619(Zone 8 NW LA)

I think it should be a regulation to water only during the night/early morning hours. Actually many cities on water rationing already do just that. It irritates me to drive around and see sprinklers spewing in the heat of the day here in La. Most evaporates or is blown away by the wind. That is wasteful. Anything that can't take night watering in my yard gets tossed or just doesn't make it. I even water the St Augustine during the night and it is very disease prone and does just fine. I only water once a week though- mother nature waters at night and doesn't worry about fungus- been doing it for years too!. Watering during the day is just another example of our excessive consumption.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2012 at 12:10AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
fairfield8619(Zone 8 NW LA)

And I forgot about the dew that forms during the night- what are you going to do about that? We have it almost every night so that throws out the fungus argument.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2012 at 12:14AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I have been told recently that a lot of variables effect whether or not fungus will grow on plants. When it is hot, dry, and windy you can water at night with no worry of fungus even if you get the foliage a little wet. But you don't want to make a habit of wetting the foliage, or you may eventually have a problem with fungus.
Again, a lot of environmental factors have to be present for fungus to grow. Dew is created by certain environmental factors. The environmental factors that cause dew to form are not the same environmental factors that cause fungus to form.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2012 at 8:44PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
fairfield8619(Zone 8 NW LA)

That's exactly what I'm saying- I don't see what the problem is. This is what this thread is about. And one of the factors that makes fungus IS moisture- not always but quite often. I think you should do some Googling. Dew can create conditions to favor growth of fungus. Powdery mildew forms when the leaf surface is dry but the air is humid.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2012 at 10:34PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

If you live in an area where you need to do some watering, please be sure to water either early in the morning or very late in the afternoon. Watering in the middle of the day leads to more evaporation than watering, wasting our most precious resource. Better yet? Install a rain barrel to collect rainwater AND water in the morning �" no usage of drinking water and little evaporation! evenings are typically similar, but if plants stay damp overnight they are more likely to be damaged by fungal and bacterial diseases.Evenings are typically similar, but if plants stay damp overnight they are more likely to be damaged by fungal and bacterial diseases.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2012 at 7:21AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

plantingman, I keep the Disease Pyramid in mind.
If the grass is wet from dew, say from 10.00 pm onward, then watering the evening before can extend the hours that the grass is wet; and this can be long enough (the time part of the pyramid) to cause a disease to develop.
One way to side-step this, is to water early enough so that the grass blades are quite dry before the sun goes down.
Watering early in the morning does not extend the period that the grass remains wet.

    Bookmark   November 24, 2012 at 8:16AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
tdscpa(z5 NWKS)

If 2013 in Kansas is like 2011 and 2012, plan on watering 24 hours/day, every day, June 1 to September 30.

Treat yourself to a few mud-baths by rolling around in your garden if you can get it damp.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2012 at 4:31AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
yolos - z 7b/8a Ga.

My brother is a horticulturist and grows and patents mandivillas in florida. He told me that fungus or bacteria landing on the leaves will multiply if the leaves are wet for a cetain period of time (I think he said 6 hrs of wetness causes problems but I am not sure about the length of time). If you water in the morning so the sun will then dry out the leaves, then there is less time the fungus has to develop and multiply. If you water in the evening then the leaves can stay wet longer (depending on your temperature at night) and this is not good for control of fungus.

    Bookmark   December 20, 2012 at 7:38PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

tdscpa, I hear that. I have a thick layer of wood mulch around my plants, which really helps to hold the moisture in the ground, even in this severe drough we're experiencing. But that mud bath sounds like a fun idea.

    Bookmark   December 20, 2012 at 11:17PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
First experience with irrigation system
Our builder installed, as a part of the "package",...
Help with tricky (at least for me) water access
Hi, I have an issue that I'll be having to deal with...
Correct irrigation design for perennial/shrub border
I've finally bitten the bullet and had a swimming pool...
Homemade rain barrel: you think BBQ sauce residue will hurt plants?
I bought a food grade barrel to convert into a rain...
Rain barrel with gutters that drain to sewer - can't alter gutters
Hello, I'm wondering if anyone has advice for how to...
Sponsored Products
Humanscale | Element Disc LED Light
$359.00 | YLighting
WA 3528 Single Row LED Strip Light 120/m 10mm wide Foot
Magic Blue Metallic Cleo 16" Wide Pendant Chandelier
Lamps Plus
Metal Lamp: Duran 11.25 in. Sandy Beachlic LED Table Lamp CLI-SW55042416
Home Depot
Mid-Century Slope Chair in Aqua
$134.99 | Dot & Bo
David Bromstad "Flowers in a Jar" Artwork III
Grandin Road
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™