What Happens If My Lawn Gets Too Much Water
Too much water can damage your lawn, or even your homes foundation. Grass cannot grow properly in areas with standing water or spongy soil, which allows moss to develop. You may choose to re-grade your yard, amend heavy clay soil with organic matter to improve drainage, or install a rain garden or mulch bed in low spots that frequently fill with standing water.
Whens The Best Time To Water
Its not just about how much water you use, either. The time of day in which you water your lawn is also important. When the sun is out, the heat and light can cause water to evaporate before it reaches the roots of your grass, which means that your grass isnt getting hydrated.
As such, its best to water when the sun isnt too high in the sky, with early morning being the best time. Some people will wait until evening, but this increases the chance of attracting pests and lawn disease, which are more active at that time.
Do I Need To Water The Lawn
The simple answer is no you dont! We are lucky enough to live in a pretty wet country, it seems barely a day goes by without at least a shower or two. This means that usually your lawn can get all of the moisture it needs naturally from the soil.
Great! But what about when we do get a dry spell?
Grass roots only tend to occupy the top two or three inches of soil. If the temperatures are high and the top layer of soil dries out the plant may not be able to get sufficient water.
Grasses are incredibly tough plants, when it dries out they can go into a hibernation mode. The plant goes dormant and the leaves turn brown and appear to die back. However when the rain does return the grass plant magically comes to life again, sending out new shoots and recovering to its former glory very rapidly indeed.
Even better. I dont need to water my lawn!
Well no, you might still need to water your lawn. If there is a drought and it lasts a long time, some grass may actually permanently die back. Meaning seeding will be required when the moisture does return.
Furthermore, when the grass is brown, far tougher species such as weeds can get their feet in the door, taking root in your once weed free lawn. To make it worse the old brown grass leaves will form more thatch in the lawn, which in turn can lead to more moss. You may find your prize lawn is now a weedy, mossy mess.
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Keep Your Lawns Thriving This Summer
Whether you want to keep your lawn healthy for summer activities, or you simply wish the best health for it, there can be value in watering your lawns properly. Adopt a regular lawnmowing schedule and talk to a lawn mowing company about their recommendations for watering.
Most importantly, remember to follow all local council requirements regarding water restrictions and general water usage.
Other Watering Guidelines To Consider:
- Proper watering is critical to your lawns health and vigor. Deep and infrequent watering is the best practice. During the hotter months of the year, the lawn will require more water, so that may mean ¾ of irrigation at a time rather than the ½ of irrigation typically required in the cooler months. This means wetting the soil to a depth of 4-6 inches per irrigation.
- Water at times of low wind.
- Water during the very early morning rather than in the afternoon or evening to minimize the risk for disease.
- To reduce water runoff and to help water penetrate and soak deeply into the soil, we recommend a Cycle and Soak watering schedule. Instead of watering for a long period of time and allowing the water to run off into the street, divide the total watering time per zone by 3. Water 3 shorter intervals . For example at 3am, 4am, and 5am, before winds pick up. Each cycle, water for 15 minutes for rotor heads, 8 minutes for stationary pop-ups, and 30 minutes for low volume MP Rotator heads. Water less in shaded or poorly drained areas.
- Do not water every day or two. Frequent, short watering encourages shallow roots, unhealthy grass, plants, and leaves turf susceptible to drought, weeds, and disease.
- Water newer trees using soaker hoses or direct hose drips once every couple of weeks.
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Diy Vs Hiring A Lawn Care Professional
If you already have your lawn planted and a sprinkler system installed, caring for your lawn is a feasible DIY venture. Use the information in this guide to ensure your lawn is receiving enough water. Also, make sure you are keeping up with other lawn maintenance tasks such as fertilizing, aeration, weeding and pest control.
If you would rather not deal with these tasks yourself, consider hiring a lawn care professional to take on your yard maintenance. In addition to keeping your lawn in the best condition, a professional lawn care company can provide sprinkler system repairs, install exterior landscaping and provide spring lawn care and plenty of other services.
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.
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How Can I Protect A Dormant Lawn
There are times when the weather and the local water supply are simply beyond your control. If environmental concerns, high water costs, or watering restrictions prevent you from watering your lawn as often as youd like, there are simple steps you can take to save it.
- If possible, maintain a minimal watering schedule of ½ of water every 7-14 days. Your lawn will still look brown, but will have a better chance of surviving the drought.
- A dormant, drought-stressed lawn can be easily damaged, so it is best to stay off it as much as you can.
- Once the lawn begins to receive water again, it should start to green up within 14 days some areas may need to be reseeded.
Why Is Proper Watering Important
Most living things require water to thrive, and your grass is no exception. Proper lawn watering keeps your lawn looking lush, promotes a healthy roots system, and even helps reduce the number of weeds in your lawn. With a few basic tips, you can keep your lawn watered well and avoid pitfalls from over or under-doing it.
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Watering Tips And Guidelines For An Established Lawn:
The following rules will help you determine if you should water your lawn:
- When temperatures exceed 85 degrees, watering is highly recommended and should be increased to avoid dormancy and browning of turf.
- In general, it is more beneficial to water less often and more deeply. This helps promote deep root growth, which, in turn, allows your grass to go longer between watering.
- Shady areas need less water than sunny areas. Likewise, low areas require less water than hills.
- Under watering leads to dormancy. It can take a week of watering to have a dormant lawn green up again.
- Water in the morning, rather than in the evening or mid-day. This allows more water to penetrate the soil and can help prevent fungal disease.
- Sprinkler systems are wonderful. Unattended sprinkler systems frequently waste water and lead to an unhealthy lawn.
- Over watering leads to shallow roots, increased thatch, and an environment that promotes fungal disease and weed growth.
- Know your soil. Clay soils need less water than sandy soils conversely, sandy soils require more frequent watering than clay soils.
Conserve When You Can
Both for the health of your lawn, and your water bill, weve got some on how to conserve water when watering your lawn. Keep automatic sprinkler systems maintained and properly set. A broken sprinkler head that shoots a stream of water into the street doesnt do anyone any good, nor does one that runs during a rainstorm. Additionally, trees can be damaged from lawn watering that leaves their trunks wet over time or does not allow their roots to stretch out and grow between waterings.
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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.
How Often To Water New Grass Seed
Before you cast out new grass seed, its important to start with watering. Nature designed seeds to respond to moisture, so it makes perfect sense that watering grass seed properly is imperative to kick-start the germination process that results in healthy growth.
Measuring the depth of water penetration is easy! Simply insert a long screw driver into the ground. If it pushes down 6 to 8 inches without much resistance, you have the proper water saturation.
Youll want to maintain moisture in the seeding area from this point on. Remember that if the seeds are allowed to dry out, they will die.
If youre not receiving any rainfall, youll want to water new grass seed twice per day until the top couple inches of soil are moist.
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Watering The Wrong Amount
While overwatering is a common mistake, it happens to be one of the most detrimental. Unless watering newly planted grass seed, dont water every day.
Frequent, shallow watering wastes water and money. It also leads to a number of lawn problems, including diseases, insect infestations and damage from heat and cold. On the other hand, watering longer but less frequently, deep watering, produces deep roots that mean lawns can better survive periods of drought. The ideal watering schedule is once or twice per week, for about 25 to 30 minutes each time.
Taking care of a lawn doesnt have to be an overwhelming, all-consuming task. Once all the tips and tricks are in your back pocket, it will be easy to come up with a routine that results in a gorgeous green lawn.
How Much Water Is A Good Soak
A general rule of thumb is that a lawn needs around an inch of water once per week for optimal growth. A simple method is to place an empty tuna can under the sprinkler . When this has filled up to depth of an inch, turn the sprinkler off. That will be enough for the next week.
When is the best time to water my garden?
Early morning is one of the best times to water your lawn. This is when its at its coolest and less moisture will be lost to evaporation. Early afternoon works as well but dont be tempted to water too late in the evening. If water is left on the grass in dark, humid conditions is the perfect environment for fungus such as red thread to form. Very quickly your lawn may be covered in unsightly brown marks, which will look as bad as a dry lawn. Allow sufficient time for the grass to dry out before dark if watering in the evening.
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How To Know If Your Lawn Receives Enough Water
You dont want to drown your grass, but underwatering your lawn is not good either. Therefore, you need to water it properly and ensure that you are giving it enough liquids.
If your lawn looks healthy, you can stick to what youre doing because it means it is receiving enough water. However, if you notice that the grass is turning yellow or rotting, it might be a sign for you to change your watering routine.
Image Source: WaterUseItWisely
Of course, you dont want to wait until your grass starts dying before you do something with your watering practices. One way to know how deep youve watered is to use a long screwdriver or a soil probe.
Submerge a screwdriver into the grass. It will easily slide through wet soil but will be hard to push through any dry soil. If the screwdriver easily sinks six or seven inches to a maximum of ten-inch depth, then your lawn receives an adequate amount of water every week. On the other hand, if you cannot stick the screwdriver six inches deep into the soil, it needs more water.
How To Tell If Your Grass Isnt Getting Enough Water
There are several tell-tale signs that you need to water your lawn. Its simple as can be, but if your once-vibrant green lawn has taken on a gray shade, you need to water. Curled grass blades are another indicatorit means your grass is thirsty.
If youre unsure, consider tackling one of two tests. For the step test, simply walk on your lawn. If your lawn is well-watered, your grass should spring right back up where youve stepped. If it doesnt, its lacking moisture, so it needs water.
The screwdriver test is another classic. See if you can drive a long-bladed screwdriver 6 inches into the soil. If you cant push the tool down that far or you meet a lot of resistance, its time to water.
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How Long To Water Per Zone: Other Considerations
Many factors go into how much to water your yard, including the condition and design of your sprinkler system. Drip irrigation, bubblers and low-output sprinkler heads are more efficient and tend to waste less water. While you may have to wait longer for a drip irrigation system to wet your soil, you will lose less water to evaporation than with an automatic sprinkler system. While automated sprinklers certainly are convenient, a homeowner can easily waste water if regular maintenance and needed repairs go undone.
You wont need to water each zone as much if your sprinklers supply large drops of water closer to the ground than systems which spray fine mists into the air. Design your irrigation system to water shrubs and trees separately from your grass, since larger plants have deeper roots and will need to be watered differently. Stations in shady areas may only require about half the watering as a sunny spot. Choose native plants that are already adapted to your area and require less watering. Grass, in particular, should be chosen based on your requirements and desires for traffic tolerance, mowing frequency, shade tolerance and drought tolerance. Proper mowing, thatch control, aeration and fertilization can help complement your routine watering to keep your landscape vibrant.
Abc Can Keep Your Yard Healthy And Green
Caring for your lawn can be a challenge when you dont have a fully operational sprinkler system or a proper irrigation schedule in place. The licensed sprinkler repair technicians at ABC Home & Commercial Services can advise you on how often to water a lawn in the summer and how to scale back watering during the spring, fall and winter. With ABCs help, you can keep your grass and plants healthy year-round.
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How Many Times A Week To Water
The frequency of weekly watering depends on your grass species, total water requirements for the week, and how long your soil will absorb water before running off into the gutter.
Warm-season grasses have extensive root systems that penetrate deep into the soil and require deep and infrequent watering. Water as few times a week as necessary to fulfill your weekly water requirements without causing excessive runoff. Usually 1 or 2 times a week is sufficient.
If you want to determine the maximum amount of time your sprinklers can be left on at one time, observe a cycle from the beginning to the time when runoff begins. That is the maximum amount of time that you let your sprinklers run in any given watering. Space out the applications evenly during the week.
Cool-season grasses require more frequent watering than warm-season grasses because their root systems are not as extensive. Divide the required weekly minutes into about 3 equal irrigations, evenly spaced throughout the week. Fewer applications may be sufficient during cooler months. Desert areas, slopes or areas with shallow soils also need shorter, more frequent irrigations than warm-season grasses.