Because grass roots are relatively shallow, it is possible to check the moisture levels of the soil by inserting a finger into the ground. Generally, if the soil is damp or wet up to your first knuckle, the soil is adequately watered. Atmospheric conditions to factor in, however; if the air is hot and dry, a greater percentage of that moisture will evaporate into the air without being absorbed by the grass itself. For this reason, early morning and late-evening rain is a more reliable watering source that mid-day precipitation.
Though water requirements differ among grass and soil types, the general rule is about one inch of water per week is needed to maintain a healthy lawn. One suggestion on how to keep track of this is to leave out a small can, such as a tuna can, and monitor how much rain falls in it during the week. If you live in a more arid region, it is best to use sensors on your sprinkler system that stop them from turning on if it rains. These are often available from your water provider. If you live in a water-stressed area, then consider re-landscaping your lawn with plants that need less water. This can save you money and help conserve water.
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