WATERING TIPS

How Often & When To Water Your Lawn?

Consider some points before heading forward.

In hot summer days, it is desired to grow a good root system that would provide enough moisture to sustain the lawn. With the water shortage, it gets difficult to have a lush green lawn where you could relax and play.  

Providing too little water stresses the grass, while too much is wasteful of a valuable resource and environmentally irresponsible.

You will need to know when to water, how much to water, and the best watering techniques for conserving water.

Watering a lawn – Should you be watering grass?

Something many homeowners do not consider is whether to water at all during the drought conditions that arrive with the summer heat.

For those living in the countryside, extensive watering is out of the question. You do, however, have the option of not watering and letting the lawn go dormant once the weather turns hot and dry.

Dormancy is a natural process that allows the lawn to protect itself against the heat.

Yes, that means an unsightly brown lawn for a while, but don’t despair. Your garden will revive itself once the hot weather subsides and the rain comes again.

One of two of the most commonly asked questions during the summer months is, “How often do I need to water my yard?” This is definitely an open-ended question with several factors determining the answer. Namely, how much rain has your yard received?

Localized rain should be sufficient to penetrate the soil to a depth of 4-5 inches. Water penetration depends primarily on your individual soil type. Grass can suffer from too much or too little water. Here are some key factors in determining how much water your particular lawn needs:

• Rain

Localized rain is ideally the best method. It’s no cost to the homeowner and requires no effort on your part. You do need to check to ensure that you have received sufficient rain though. A simple test to see if your lawn has had sufficient rainfall is the simple screwdriver test.

Try pushing a screwdriver into the soil. You should be able to push a screwdriver 4-5 inches into the soil with just moderate pressure. If you cannot, then it is a probability that your lawn needs to be watered. On average your lawn will require upwards of ½” to 1” inch of rainfall every week in order to remain healthy and vibrant.

• Supplemental watering:

Frequency and saturation is an important key in your lawns root development. Frequent or insufficient watering can cause the grasses roots to develop close to the top of the soil and make your lawn more susceptible to weeds.

Think about it this way, if water is being applied to the top one or two inches only, then your lawn will be more apt to grow roots in these areas.

Infrequent and penetrating water is recommended when your lawn needs supplemental watering. By insuring that the water is penetrating to a depth of 4-5 inches, your grasses root system should develop deeper roots and become overall healthier.

Watering should be uniformly spread across the lawn to insure an even saturation. Lawn sprinklers differ greatly between models, although they each do basically the same function. It may be necessary to experiment between several different sprinkler types until you find one that fits your individual requirements.

An easy trick to determine your sprinklers output and distribution patter, is to place old coffee cans in different locations throughout your lawn. Water until you reach a 1” depth in the coffee can, and then relocate the sprinklers to a different area of the yard. Check each can that you have put out to make sure you are reaching all areas of your yard.

It is the best way to water your lawn early morning while the morning dew is still on the ground. This will help to slow the water loss due to evaporation and ensure better water saturation. It also prevents the possibility of scorching the grass during the mid-day heat.

Watering during mid-day reduces the useable amount of water that can reach the grass roots and watering your lawn late evening can cause excess moisture retention and lead to fungus buildup in the turf. It’s also best to keep your watering to those times of the year when temperatures are above 60º at night and above 80º during the daytime hours.

You can help in conserving the amount of water by mowing your grass at higher than normal heights during the dry weather. This helps in increasing the plants useable water storage in the grass blades as well as keeps the grass from demanding additional water to re-grow the grasses nutrient, gathering portion of the grass blade.

If due to watering restrictions during droughts, your lawn goes dormant, allow it to stay dormant. Fluctuations between dormancy and active growth can be worse for your lawn then the actual dormancy itself.

• Sprinkler Systems:

A properly designed sprinkler system will not only insure proper coverage and avoid missed areas, but will also improve water conservation and cut down on watering cost. This method of watering is not only the least labor intensive watering method, but also can prove to be the most economical to use.

Lawn watering – How Often To Water

An average lawn will require between one and two inches of water per week. The water amount for your lawn must be the exact sums calculated on a weekly bases depending on different conditions like; climate, season, soil type and grass type.

Watering carelessly without recalculating the exact sum of water every week will cause damage to your lawn, waste valuable water resources and needless to say- a pure waste of money in long term speaking.

Precise turf watering plays a major roll in your lawns survival chances, a well-watered healthy law will stand better chances to overcoming pest and disease problems.

Sand soil

Sand soils have a tendency not to hold water well, once watered the soil’s structure enables water to penetrate its lower levels quickly. Roots of grass planted in sand soil reserve water only a short time after being watered and get very little time to enjoy the water as it passes quickly on its way down. Therefore, lawns on sandy soils are best applied two-three times a week, each time about ½ or ¾ inch of water.

Clay soil

Clay soils have the capability to maintain water reserves for longer periods. Usually, lawns with clay soil will need watering only once a week in an average amount of 1, 1 and 1/2 inches (depends on context).

From our experience it’s better to check the soil’s moisture level before watering; in some cases when the moisture is high it will be wise to delay the watering for a day or two. Knowing your moisture level is easy; simply penetrate the soil in different areas with your finger, soil that is easily penetrated is probably still moist and does not need watering.

Reading your lawn

Developing skills of sensing your lawns needs is crucial for quality lawn care, it means gaining a kind of sensibility for your lawns condition. By listening to its silent voice you will know when it is thirsty for water, when it is attacked by pests and when it craves to be fertilized. If you wish, you can imagine being some kind of a modern suburban Indian. Here are some tips for lawn reading:

• When grass blades turn to purple-blue, it indicates that your soil is lacking moisture.

• Foot tracks remaining on the grass after being stepped on tells you that your lawn needs watering. Healthy, well-watered grass bounces right back after stepping on it.

• When breaking a grass leave you should notice microscopic drops of water on your fingertips. Dry grass cannot be broken; it has a bent form very similar to human hair.

• Water your lawn within a day after noticing these symptoms.

• The best time to water a lawn is from 5 to 7 a.m., water pressure is the highest during those hours. At summer time it is most crucial as watering in those hours simply minimizes water loss from vaporization.

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