How To Care For Your Lawn
During spring and summer, your water use can jump by 30 to 40 per cent because of outdoor watering activities.
Save money on your water bills while still having a pristine lawn by following these lawn care tips. You can also check out our watering guides:
Lawn care topics
How Many Days A Week Should I Water My Lawn
How Long Should I Water My Lawn? How Long Should I Water My Lawn? Your lawn should be watered once or twice each week, with 1 to 1.5 inches of water applied to the grass at each watering. Depending on factors such as the size of your lawn, the type of sprinkler you have, and the settings on it, the actual number of minutes required for each watering will vary from grass to lawn.
Watering A New Sod Lawn
The wonderful thing about sod is that it can provide you with an instant lawn. The rules for watering a new lawn are basically the same for seed and sod, with just a little variation. When sod is harvested, the roots are cut making it extremely important to lay it as soon as possible. The faster you get water on the sod, the better. Any soil preparation work should be done before the sod arrives.
What to do first
Depending on the thickness of your existing lawn, you may need to kill the existing grass before the new sod arrives. It may take a few weeks for the old grass to completely die back. Some contractors are placing the sod directly over the old grass without killing it first with reportedly good results. I have not tired it myself. The sod laid on top will suffocate the old grass and will be completely killed within a few weeks. You may get some grass braking through along seam gaps or thin areas. I will have to research that more.
Make sure the ground is leveled where the sod will be placed. Fill or remove any large dips and hills. Large rocks near the surface should also be removed. If not, the grass that rests over a large rock will likely be stressed or could even die. The sun can heat the rock and any roots that do begin to grow will perish.
Watering a New Lawn of Freshly Laid Sod
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How Often To Water The Lawn
How often you water your lawn is also an important factor to consider. Instead of watering your lawn daily, we recommend watering 1 to 2 times per week if Mother Nature isnt already providing steady, soaking rains.
Deep and less frequent watering is ideal. Watering 1 to 2 times per week will provide you with better results by giving your lawn plenty of time to dry between waterings. This also helps to reduce turf diseases.
A soaking is the optimal type of watering that should be performed, as opposed to occasionally watering here or there. The goal is to deeply soak your lawn until the soil is moist to a few inches of depth. The exact amount of time this will take varies depending on the size of your lawn and your sprinkler system, but could take 45-60 minutes on average.
Of course, Mother Nature will hopefully be doing some of the watering work for you. Even so, you dont want to assume that a heavy downpour automatically means you can skip watering your lawn that week. Using a rain gauge is one of the most effective ways to measure the amount of water your grass is getting to make sure youre in the right range.
Moisture levels can also be tested with a soil probe, which will either take a sample out of the ground or use electronic sensors to test the moisture. A DIY alternative with an object you already own would be to see how easy it is to stick a stake or a screwdriver into the ground. If you cannot easily push it in, your soil is too dry.
Five Weeks To Nine Months Following Germination
As time goes on, water your lawn so it gets two inches of water per week. Even though your lawn may look green and established on top, it takes some time for the root system to mature as well. This is why its so important to continue regularly watering your lawn, and it may mean watering once or twice per week if youre not getting enough natural rainfall.
New lawns are more vulnerable to drought damage in their first year. Its not uncommon for people to seed areas of their lawn in the fall and then have them thin or die-back the next summer, if it doesnt rain for several weeks or more.
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Watering Your Grass Lawn The Quick Guide
Do not water daily. When you water your lawn daily then the grass roots become reliant and almost lazy. The roots wont need to search deep in the soil for moisture and shallow roots lead to poor quality grass. We recommend watering your grass lawn once a week for around an hour or so. In the middle of summer 1 square metre of lawn needs about 20-litres every seven days.
Misconception #: The Worst Thing I Can Do Is Under
We hear a lot of concerns about under-watering, but the truth is that overwatering can be just as badmaybe even worse. When soil becomes oversaturated, it can become waterlogged and you can actually drown your grass roots. An overwatered lawn is also more prone to lawn diseases.
Lawns need approximately 1 to 2 inches of water each week in order to stay healthy and green. The best way for lawns to receive that water is through a slow and soaking rain . Just be careful not to assume a downpour has given you ample water. Stick a finger down into the first few inches of soil and get a sense of how moist it is.
We also recommend putting a rain gauge outdoors to measure rainfall. When you do need to water, place a shallow can halfway between your sprinkler head and its furthest point of spray. This will help you tell how much water your lawn is receiving during your supplemental watering sessions. You dont need to be watering your lawn every day, but instead just need to ensure that its getting its weekly 1 to 2 inches of water with about 2-3 waterings per week.
How Long Should I Set My Lawn Sprinklers For
Sprinklers should be programmed to run for 30 to 35 minutes at a time, twice a week, to ensure proper irrigation. Your grass should receive at least 1 inch of water every week, if not more. When its hot and dry, increase the watering times by two or three times while still attempting to water just two or three days each week.
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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When Should You Water Your Lawn After Fertilizing And For How Long
Some rules are just made for following.Always stop at a kids lemonade stand.Water after fertilizing your lawn. The lemonade thing is easy.But when exactly do you water after fertilizing? And for how long?Whether you apply your own fertilizer or hire a lawn care company to do it, heres the deal with watering after fertilizing your lawn.
How Frequently Should You Water Your Lawn
Most lawns require 1 to 1.5 inches of water each week either from rain or from irrigation in order to sufficiently wet the soil. That amount of water can be administered in a single watering or divided between two waterings throughout the course of the week, depending on your preference. Be cautious, though, not to over-water your yard.
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How Often Should I Run Sprinklers
Generally speaking, one or two times a week is plenty. Observe a cycle from the beginning of the cycle to the time when runoff begins to establish the maximum length of time your sprinklers may be left on. The maximum length of time you should let your sprinklers to run in each particular watering is indicated by the asterisk .
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.
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Keep These Tips In Mind When Watering A Cool
- Tall fescue has a deep root system and the highest drought tolerance of all the cool-season grass types.
- Lawns that are a mixture of Kentucky bluegrass, perennial ryegrass, and fine fescues will go dormant during drought if not watered, but will revive when rain returns.
There are tons of ways to water your lawn, from sprinklers to smart watering solutions. Each has their own sets of benefits, so choose the solution that works best for you and your lawn. Below are a few methods to consider.
Pulsating sprinklers : These shoot water horizontally at a high velocity so the water isnt affected by wind.
Hose-end sprinklers: Great for small- to medium-size lawns. There are many different types, so you can choose the one that fits your lawn best.
In-ground sprinklers: These can deliver water in the most efficient pattern. Choose sprinklers that are low to the ground and use a horizontal spray pattern for best results.
Why Fall Watering Is Important
If your type of grass is a cool-season grass, then fall is an important growth period for your lawn. Grass does keep growing for a good part of the fall, even if you don’t see as much growth on top. Instead, much of the growth occurs underground in the root system. This is crucial to build a solid foundation for your lawn and to help it repair any damage that occurred over the summertime.
Don’t deprive it of irrigation during this critical time. An adequate water supply for grass roots is essential for proper nutrient uptake during growth periods. If your lawn isn’t sufficiently absorbing nutrients, it won’t achieve optimal health and might not survive a harsh winter.
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How To Tell When Its Time To Water Your Lawn
A lawn that has dried out and needs watering will often fall dormant and turn a duller shade of green or even brown. Before reaching the dormancy stage, some types of grass will even begin to wilt or bow when they are in need of watering.
A screwdriver or a hand spade are also good tools for assessing the moisture in your lawn.
If it is difficult to get your tool into the ground, then it is very likely too dry. Do this test intermittently while watering to ensure that it has reached deep into the soil. Its best to saturate the soil with moisture to a depth of 6 to 8 inches when watering.
How Frequently To Water Your Lawn
How you parcel out the water is important, too. You might think that watering a little bit every day is a smart approach, but youd be wrong. Its better to water deeply and infrequently, Cutler says. About a third of an inch every two to three days is a good goal.
Why is this so? Turns out your lawn is not unlike your kid: pampering it in the short run doesnt do it any long-term favors. If you water lightly every day, your grass never has to reach deep into the soil to get a healthy drink. The roots become shallow. And grass with shallow roots is susceptible to wilting and other woes.
If, instead, you wait a day or two before you water, then give the turf a little more to drink, the water will seep deeper into the soil, and the roots will stretch down deeper in pursuit of it. A deeper root system is what you want.
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How To Water More Efficiently
“Dr. Strangelove” is one of Grumpy’s all-time favorite movies. In it, Air Force General Jack D. Ripper, convinced that Communists are using fluoridation to pollute “our precious bodily fluids,” launches a nuclear strike against the Soviet Union. He correctly points out that most of our bodies are water and that fresh, pure water is essential to our survival. If you haven’t seen the movie, I won’t spoil the ending for you, except to say that if you’re terrified of dark, confined spaces, you’ll be thrilled that the Cold War is over.
Ripper was right. Pure, fresh water is fundamental to human life, yet we waste it in so many ways — from building humongous, bloated desert cities like Phoenix and Las Vegas that have to steal their water from distant rivers to average folks who overwater their grass. So how can you have a nice lawn while using a modicum of water? Grumpy shall elucidate.
Don’t make the lawn bigger than you need. Devote more area to natural areas and drought-tolerant plants and ground covers. Watch your water bill shrink.
Water at the right time. The best time to water is very early morning before it gets hot. Most of the water will make it to the roots. Plus, the grass blades will dry quickly, preventing disease problems.
Don’t mow your grass during droughts. Cut grass loses lots of moisture through cut blades and turns brown if you don’t water it. So don’t cut. Grumpy’s rule during hot, dry summers is, don’t cut the grass until it rains two days in a row.
When Should I Stop Watering My Lawn In Ny
Mowing and watering your lawn at a later time than you expect may surprise you. Fernandes recommends that you keep watering until the ground freezes, but that you avoid over-watering the plants. Reduce watering gradually until the typical overnight temperatures are in the low 30s, at which point it should be discontinued. Once the earth freezes, water will not be able to enter.
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Make A Good Choice On Sprinklers
Ground sprinklers with pop up heads are the best for watering your lawns. Theres a timer which runs the sprinkler at preset times and delivers precise amounts of water.
If you dont have a ground irrigation system, use a revolving or pulsating sprinkler attached to a garden hose. The pulsating sprinklers spread water horizontally at a higher velocity. Its not susceptible to strong winds and evaporation as the oscillating type is.
Common Myths About Lawn Watering & How To Do It Right
When it comes to watering lawns in Pennsylvania, we get a lot of questions about whats needed. From whether you should be watering your lawn in the evening to whether you should be watering your lawn in the winter, we know that there are some uncertainties about the best practices. We also recognize there is a lot of misunderstanding.
In order to clear things up, well take a look at 5 common myths about lawn watering to give you some helpful tips on whats best. These are important as proper watering is the one lawn care task that will impact your lawn more than any other.
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