Watering Different Types Of Lawns
During the first year of your lawns growth, whether it’s a newly seeded, sodded, sprigged, or plugged lawn, don’t rely solely on Mother Nature to do the watering. Additional irrigation should always be provided.
When watering a newly seeded lawn, the key is to keep the top inch of soil consistently moist but not soggy. You will likely need to mist the seeded area once or twice a day . Once the seeds start to germinate, continue to keep the top 2 inches of soil moist until the new grass reaches a mowing height of around 3 inches. After that, begin to cut back watering to twice per week and soak the soil deeper, about 6 to 8 inches, to encourage the grass roots to grow down deep into the soil.
Watering At The Wrong Time
To water well, timing is everything. Water in the early morning between 6 a.m. and 10 a.m. Midday watering leads to wasteful evaporation, while nighttime watering causes droplets to cling to grass overnight, increasing the chance of lawn diseases.
A Dual Outlet Electronic Water Timer will prove handy for those mornings you are away or want to sleep in. Just program the start time, frequency and duration of watering, and let the timer take care of the rest. The dual outlets make it easy to hook up two hoses at once and program separate schedules for different parts of the yard. We suggest attaching a Flexogen Super Duty Hose, as it easily curves around the yard without kinking and connects to a spigot without leaking saving water and money.
How Long Should I Water My Lawn
Learning how long to water your lawn is important for several reasons. Too much or too little water can result in a less than ideal appearance with dead or dried patches that invite weeds. Overwatering can also raise your water bill significantly so it pays off to have a fairly close idea of how much water your lawn requires to maintain green, good health. There are several factors to consider which include your soil and your specific growing zone.
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Applying Water Too Late
Its best to water your lawn in the early morning, before the sun heats up the day and causes more of your water to evaporate. If you must water later in the day, be sure to finish at least half an hour before sunset. That way, the grass can dry before the sun goes down, as damp grass and cooler air is the perfect combination for diseases and fungi to attack your lawn.
If youd like more advice on best practices for watering your lawn, call the lawn care experts at Clean Energy Maintenance at . We also install custom-designed automatic irrigation systems, which can include programmable schedules and rain sensors so your yard gets the precise amount of water it needs.
Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences, Principles of Turfgrass Irrigation
Penn State Extension, Lackawanna County, Proper Water
What Happens If I Dont Water My Lawn
Depending where you travel in the country, youll get varying opinions and social norms about watering lawns. Down south, if you dont water, you dont have a lawn, you have dirt, sand, and weeds. It also seems that near larger urban areas, there are more people with irrigation installed, especially on smaller properties.
However, here in the Lancaster and Harrisburg, PA area, its actually pretty uncommon for people to have irrigation systems. This is particularly true when they have a larger lawn. But it isnt because they arent needed. The common view of irrigation systems in our area is different for a number of factors.
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Watering Lawns In Hot & Dry Seasons
In hot and dry weather, a lawn may be best served with more frequent waterings. Above 90 degrees Fahrenheit, grass will often fall dormant anyways. You might be able to prevent that if you can keep your turf cool with sprinklers a few times a week. If your grass is browning, dont worry. Your grass is not dead and should turn right back to green when it cools down after watering.
No matter the season, it is best to water in the morning before 10am to ensure that your lawn has enough time to absorb that moisture without the sun and heat evaporating it. Alternatively, but still less ideal, watering at dusk is another option that allows the moisture to soak in without lingering too long and potentially allowing mold to grow and kill your lawn.
Ignoring Your Grass Needs
Taking a lawns age into consideration is important. A fully-grown lawn can handle a more powerful spray, whereas newly seeded lawns need a gentler touch. If you only have a small area of newly planted seeds, a Stationary Square Sprinkler works well for gentle spot-watering, while an Adjustable Length Wind-Resistant Rectangular Sprinkler can cover a bigger area.
For a sprinkler that will grow along with the grass, try the Circular Sprinkler Spike with on/off switch. The diffuser pin allows for a customized force of spray, from a steady shower for new grass to a more powerful stream for mature lawns.
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How Much To Water Your Lawn After Fertilizing
The general rule for watering a lawn is 1 to 2 inches per week. The best way to achieve this is to think of giving your lawn a good soaking with deep waterings. The goal is to soak your lawn until the soil is moist to a few inches deep. The exact amount of time that this may take will depend upon your lawn and its sprinkler system. On average, it could take around 45 minutes to an hour.Of course, Mother Nature will hopefully also be doing some of the watering work. But we find homeowners sometimes over-estimate how much rain actually fell. Using a rain gauge can be an effective way to keep track of how much water your lawn is receiving during periods of rainfall.We also want to mention that if youre currently using a hose and sprinkler system , we recognize this can be frustrating. It takes a lot of time and effort. For that reason, a lot of homeowners like the idea of a professional irrigation system, which will take all of the guesswork out of watering the lawn. With an irrigation system, you can ensure its set to receive exactly what your lawn needs.Our sister company, Michael Hatcher & Associates, installs irrigation systems in and around Memphis, TN and Northern Mississippi if that is something that you are thinking about.
Tonics Will Help My Lawn To Grow
Why drink beer when you can use it to grow your grass, right? Wrong! Dont waste your beer on a grass tonic, because it actually doesnt help your lawn at all. People have made the claim in the past that tonics including beer, cola, hydrogen peroxide, or even dish soap, can improve the state of your lawn. But its actually false! Sure these products can increase microbial activity and suppress insect pests, but its very questionable to use for a greener lawn. Instead, try these tips for growing greener grass.
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How Frequently To Water
Irrigation frequency will vary based on grass species, rainfall amounts, soil type and amount of compaction, shade presence, geographical location in the state, and, most importantly, by season. Irrigation systems should be reset seasonally to reflect the differing water requirements of grasses based on time of year. Table 1 lists some average seasonal irrigation frequencies for maintenance of St. Augustinegrass in north, central, and south Florida. These frequencies assume that no rainfall occurs, so if rainfall amounts total at least ½ to ¾ “, the frequency can usually be reduced. Often, homeowners are unaware that an irrigation system should be adjusted seasonally, and failure to adjust for seasonal changes will usually lead to overwatering. Overwatering will harm long-term turf health because it greatly increases disease susceptibility and thatch buildup and leads to a shorter root system, which reduces the turf’s overall stress tolerance and ability to survive with less water. Additionally, overwatering promotes the growth of certain weed species such as dollarweed and sedges.
Leaf blades are folded in half lengthwise in an attempt to conserve water .
The grass takes on a blue-gray tint rather than maintaining a green color.
Footprints or tire tracks remain visible on the grass long after they are made.
Checking Your Irrigation System
There are many different irrigation systems available. Whether you choose an above ground or underground system, it is important that it is working properly. A routine check should be made to ensure that water is being applied where it is needed, in the amount that it is needed, and in a uniform manner. Use the can method to check the distribution and amount of water being applied, and then make any needed adjustments.
Make sure sprinkler heads have the right water pressure to apply water as drops and not as mist. Excess water pressure can cause significant water loss. Sprinklers should never water sidewalks, driveways or streets.
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What Happens If Grass Doesnt Get Enough Water
When water is in short supply, grass is less able to consume nutrients from the soil.
As a result, it is unable to photosynthesise and produce food. So it has to rely on food and water stores to survive.
Often times youll see the grass start to lose colour. This happens as the grass draws water, nutrients and food stores from the leaf back into the roots. One of these nutrients is Chlorophyl, which gives grass its green colour.
During drought conditions, like the one the UK suffered from in summer 2018, youll see the lawn turn completely brown as the grass goes completely dormant. To avoid this, you can water your lawn as part of your summer lawn care regimen.
This is a survival mechanism and in most cases is nothing to worry about. The grass will start to grow and become green again when the rains return. However, in the worst cases, the grass could die, in which case, you might need to repair your lawn when the weather is more favourable.
Should I Water Lawn After Mowing
You can safely water your lawn after mowing whenever it needs moisture. However, you should prepare for this properly. Watering in the middle of a summer day can cause the water to evaporate from the landscape quickly. To avoid these problems, mow your dry lawn early in the morning and water immediately afterward.
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Economics Of Watering Lawns
Its not all or nothing. If you have the money to have professional lawn sprinkler system installation go for it. But if you cant afford this, there are other options that can make a big difference. Most home and garden stores will sell a variety of sprinklers. Each sprinkler has its own purpose for the space they are watering.
Likewise, you can purchase hose splitters and timers and set up temporary irrigation systems for your lawn. These can be set so that they divert water pressure to each area as a zone before it goes to another. Its possible to set up a temporary system to water the front lawn one morning, then the back lawn the following morning. Thats a much better method than dragging hoses and sprinklers around. That leaves you feeling chained to your property all day throughout the week!
We often tell people that are facing drought damage on their lawn, Youre going to pay one way or another, either in your water bill, or for re-seeding in the fall. The nice thing is that if you pay for the water bill, you wont have a brand new lawn to start over with in the fall, that is going to need watered more anyway to keep it alive for its first year of life.
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When To Turn The Sprinklers Off
There are also times when you shouldnt water the lawn
During a Hosepipe Ban
During prolonged periods of hot, dry weather, water companies can introduce hosepipe bans.
During these times the water companies have the power issue fines of up to £1,000 if people are caught ignoring a hosepipe ban.
The good news that hosepipe bans arent issued very often.
The last hosepipe ban was in 2018 and that was only in certain parts of the country. The time before that it was 2012.
To Save Money
Watering the lawn is a choice, not a necessity.
When water gets to critical levels your grass will go into a state of dormancy, turning brown as it draws its water and food supplies back into the roots.
When the rain comes, the grass will quickly spring back to life, start to grow and recover.
So, if you dont want to spend the money watering your lawn, dont.
To Avoid the Onset Of Disease, Weeds and Moss
It can also cause moss to spore and weeds to grow.
Its better to not water at all than to water incorrectly!
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Watering Frequency: When Too Much Of Something Good Can Be Bad
With high temperatures in the summer months, keeping your lawn green and healthy can be a challenge and watering is key to maintaining that vibrant lawn. However, a proper watering strategy is crucial, including the time you water, how much you water, and a variety of other factors. Below are some basic questions you need to ask when deciding on the watering frequency for your lawn, as well as answers to help you get started.
When is the best time for me to water my lawn?
The answer this question is simple The earlier, the better! The best time to water your lawn is very early in the morning when the air is cooler and your lawn is still wet from dew. By watering in the morning, youll avoid some of the rapid evaporation that would happen later in the day as the sun comes out and temperatures rise. This gives the lawn time to absorb the water in the soil and reach the root zone.
Watering your lawn early in the morning is tremendously better than watering it at night, for completely opposite reasons. While watering during the day causes water to evaporate too quickly, watering in the evening allows water to cling to the grass for too long. Overnight, the water will continue to rest in the soil, around the roots, and on top the foliage, which will encourage it to rot, develop fungus, and attract insects.
How often should I water my lawn and how do I know if it needs to be watered?
Once A Week At The Most
Grass only needs an inch of water per week to thrive.
Overwatering can result in shallow rooting. If there is a constant supply of moisture near the surface of the lawn, the roots dont need to grow as deeply.
This not only results in weak roots but the excess surface moisture can cause fungal infections and moss to spore.
The only time you should water more often is when you have laid new turf. In which case, the weather will dictate how often youd water.
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Should We Water A Lawn When The Temperature Is Cold
Whether your yard sports grass that’s green in the summer, winter or all year, grass water needs are a year-round issue. Water helps protect the lawn, but knowing the right time and amount of water is key to keeping it alive so it stays lush and green when warmer weather arrives. Watering grass even in colder weather is necessary.
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How To Balance Fall Lawn Irrigation
As important as it is to water your lawn in the fall until the ground freezes, it’s just as important not to overwater it. Overwatering can harm the root system of grass, and the excess moisture can put the lawn at risk for fungal diseases.
If your area receives sufficient rainfall in autumn , you might only have to water areas that have been overseeded or where new lawns have just been started. But if a relatively warm, dry spell occurs, be prepared to water the lawn just as you would in the summertime.
The time of day when you water the grass is also important. Watering in the early morning is best because the grass has all day to dry out before night falls. For the same reason, the evening is the worst time to water the lawn. This is one reason why automatic irrigation systems come in handy. They have timers you can set, so you don’t have to be an early riser to get the grass watered at the right time.
Watering Different Lawn Types
How long to water lawn varieties and how to care for the different types will depend on several factors, including the season, the zone you are in and most importantly the type of grass you are growing. Different lawn types will have different watering and overall care needs, so it is important to pay attention to the type of lawn that is growing. Once you know how much to water a specific lawn type, it is easy to set a schedule that will give thirsty lawns the perfect amount of water all season long.
Warm-Season Grasses Warm-season grasses such as zoysia and bermuda grass grow best when the air temperature is above 80 degrees. They slow down when daytime temperatures start to drop, but they still need moisture to remain healthy. Continue to water them as long as the grass is growing and needs regular mowing. Fall is not the time to fertilize warm-season lawns. Wait until spring, when the active growing season begins.
Cool Season Grasses Cool-season grasses, such as bluegrass, fescue and rye, are actively growing in the fall, recovering from summer dormancy. Cool fall temperatures keep evaporation rates low, but these grasses still need an inch to an inch and a half of water every week until frost ends the growing season. Cool-season grasses are also typically fertilized in the fall, and watering after fertilizing is important to wash the fertilizer off the blades of grass and down into the soil.
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