Watering your lawn seems like an easy task. Run a sprinkler at certain times of day or, if you prefer a more hands-on approach, fill a watering can and run it over areas of need.

But there’s a real science behind watering your lawn. Rarely watering your lawn has obvious results—your vegetation will die, making your grass look dull and an ugly color. But watering too often with a little water, instead of watering less frequently with more water, .

Fortunately, watering your lawn properly doesn’t require an environmental science degree, nor does it require a great deal of time. It just requires some initial planning up front and an understanding of your yard.

Less (Water) Is More (Healthy Grass)

Instead of watering every day for a few minutes at a time, you should focus on watering more infrequently for longer periods of time. If you have a rotor, we recommend only doing it twice a week for about 30 minutes. With a spray, you can do this for just 15 minutes.

Just like most of us need breakfast or coffee to get our day going, your grass will function best with water first thing in the morning. We recommend running your systems between 4 a.m. and 7 a.m. This gives water the chance to soak in before the heat of the day arrives and use moisture for photosynthesis.

An Easy Approach to Hard Soil

Hard soil, such as what you’ll find around new construction, requires a little more planning, but it doesn’t take too much extra work.

First, you’ll want to aim to keep the top six inches of your soil wet. If you try and get more water in, then you run the risk of water runoff, which carries the aforementioned risks of shallow roots and fungi growth. As with normal soil, you’ll want to use a rotor for 30 minutes or a spray for 15 minutes before taking a break. This break will prevent runoff and allow the water to soak in.

After that break, resume the process of watering for 30 or 15 minutes, followed by a break, until you have gotten the top six inches of soil wet. The process, then, is the same as with regular soil—it just takes longer and more watering with hard soil.

Do this twice a week and you’ll keep your hard soil—and the rest of your lawn—fresh.

The Right Way to Water

Watering your lawn properly may require you to change some habits, but it doesn’t take nearly as much work to get it right as you think. In fact, you’ll probably wind up doing less work than you had anticipated.

Keep it simple. Go twice a week for either thirty minutes or fifteen minutes depending on your equipment, and if you have hard soil, do it in stages. With this approach, you’ll keep your lawn healthy, strong, and well-nourished.