The Ultimate Guide to Weekly Lawn Watering: Head-to-Head Coverage, Tuna Can Test, and More

Watering your lawn may seem like a straightforward task, but there’s more to it than just turning on the sprinklers. The amount of water your lawn needs can vary depending on several factors, including the weather and soil type. In this guide, we’ll explore the weekly watering requirements for your lawn, the importance of head-to-head coverage, and how to use the tuna can test to ensure you’re giving your lawn the hydration it needs.

The 1-Inch Rule: A Starting Point

What is it?

Your lawn will generally need around 1 inch of water per week, either from natural rainfall or irrigation. However, this is just a starting point and may need to be adjusted based on weather conditions.

Seasonal Adjustments

  • Cooler Weather (Spring and Fall): You may only need 0.5 inches a week.
  • Hot Weather (95°F and above): You may need to increase the amount to 1.5 inches a week.

The Importance of Head-to-Head Coverage

What is it?

Head-to-head coverage refers to the arrangement of your sprinkler heads so that the spray from one head reaches the adjacent head, ensuring even water distribution.

Why it Matters

  • Even Watering: Helps to avoid dry spots and ensures that all areas receive adequate hydration.
  • Efficiency: Maximizes the effectiveness of your irrigation system, reducing water waste.

The Tuna Can Test: Measure to Manage

What is it?

The tuna can test involves placing empty tuna cans around your lawn while watering. The goal is to measure how much water is being applied during each watering session.

How to Do It

  1. Place empty tuna cans at various locations on your lawn.
  2. Turn on your irrigation system.
  3. Measure the water level in the cans after a set period (e.g., 15 minutes).
  4. Adjust your watering time to ensure you’re hitting the 1-inch per week target.

Deep Watering vs. Sips: Go Deep

It’s better to water your lawn deeply and less frequently than to give it frequent sips of water. Deep watering encourages:

  • Deep Root Growth: Promotes a more robust root system.
  • Weed Prevention: A well-hydrated lawn is less susceptible to weed invasion.

Soil Considerations

The type of soil you have can also impact how much water you should apply at one time. Sandy soils may require more frequent watering, while clay soils may require less but for a longer duration.


Watering your lawn is not just about meeting a weekly quota; it’s about understanding your lawn’s unique needs and adjusting your watering practices accordingly. By ensuring head-to-head coverage, using the tuna can test, and opting for deep watering, you can create a more resilient and healthier lawn. So grab those tuna cans and get ready to give your lawn the hydration it deserves. Be sure to check out our advanced watering guide and seasonal watering guides for a deeper look.







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