Easy Summer Lawn Watering Tips In Nashville Tn
Were experiencing quite the sizzling summer this year with high temperatures averaging mid 90s in both July and August. So keeping your Nashville lawn green and healthy can be tricky.
Proper watering is essential to maintaining a lush, green lawn. Its an easy lawn maintenance task to overlook or mess up. Many homeowners dont take the time to do the research and end up doing their lawn more harm than good with their poor watering habits.
But how much water does a lawn require? How often does it need to be watered? Is there anything else that can be done besides watering?
We tackle these questions and more below!
Does Sandy Soil Mean I Have To Water More
No, sandy soil does not require more water than loamy or clay soils. Thats a myth. Grass requires the same amount of water to thrive no matter what soil it grows in. But since sandy soil holds less water in reserve than loam, you need to water with smaller amounts more frequently.
So, if your loam-having neighbors water four-inches deep every eight days, you need to water one inch every two or three days.
Best Time To Water New Grass Seed
The best time to water grass seed is in the morning and evening. These are the coolest parts of the day, which allows water to absorb into the ground instead of evaporating. A water timer can simplify the process of when to water grass seeds, so you can easily and efficiently water your newly seeded lawn with no hassle at all.
How to water new grass seed depends on the area youve seeded. Large areas can benefit from the use of a quality rectangular sprinkler. Use a small spot sprinkler for smaller seeded areas.
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The Best Time Of Day To Water Your Lawn
The best time to water your lawn is early in the morning since it is cooler and the winds tend to be calmer, so the water can be absorbed by the roots before it evaporates. If for some reason you cannot water in the morning, it is best to water between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. rather than during the day or early afternoon. During the day more than 50% of the water evaporates before entering the ground. Make sure the blades of grass dry before dark to reduce the risk of fungal disease. Watering in the evening is not recommended!
How Much Water To Use
When watering an established lawn, its typically recommended to water until the top 6 to 8 inches of soil is wet. Most lawns need 1 to 1.5 inches of water per weekeither from rain or wateringto soak the soil that deeply. That amount of water can either be applied during a single watering or divided into two waterings during the week. Just be sure not to overwater your lawn.
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Consider Your Soil Type
If youre watering your lawn every three days for 30 minutes at a time and still not seeing results, the lawns soil may be to blame.
Lawns with coarse, sandy soil have large air spaces that let water pass quickly and should be watered more frequently for shorter durations. Heavier clay soils have smaller spaces that absorb and hold water longer and need less frequent deep watering.
To help support troubled turf, apply IFA Humate twice a year. The organic materials in this soil-activating treatment significantly increase the water-retention capacity of both sandy and clay soil, while also improving fertilizer efficiency.
Learn how the 3 key components in Humate improve the health of any plant!
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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How Much Water For A Healthy Lawn
Your grass needs up to 1½ inches of water per week in the summer, but you dont have to do it all at once. You can spread waterings out in two sessions. This will help to further protect your lawn against drought.
There are a few ways you can tell if youve given your lawn the right amount of water
- Check your soil every 15 minutes during your first watering to see how long it takes to get soaked. Then take a shovel or a screwdriver to get a measurement. When youve determined the water has gone six inches deep, note the time. Thats how long it should take in the future.
- If you have a sprinkler system, find what type of sprinkler head youre using and determine its flow rate. If you multiply the square footage of your lawn by 0.62 gallons and divide that figure by the flow rate, youll find out how many minutes to run your sprinkler.
- Place empty tuna cans around the lawn and measure how long it takes for the sprinkler to fill each can with an inch of water. The sprinkler coverage will vary, so use the average time it takes to fill the cans.
One other thing you can try is the 20-minute method. Typically, it takes 20 minutes, 3 times per week to get an inch of water on your lawn. And 30 minutes, 3 times per week, will get 1½ inches down and reach even deep root systems.
But keep this in mind: During extreme heat, you will need to water more, due to evaporation and heat stress on the grass. Thats why you should try watering your lawn early in the morning.
Signs Of An Overwatered Lawn
Overwatering the lawn is more common than you may think. If you have well-draining soil and an even cross-slope, your lawn can put up with some overwatering without incident. But dont make the mistake of thinking that if some water is good, more must be better.
Excessive lawn watering invites a whole set of problems that will make your lawn look terrible. Common signs of excessive lawn watering include:
Fungus loves warm, wet soil and grass blades, and will thrive in overwatered lawns. You may see mushrooms, mold, blight, and even algae in an overwatered lawn. Because symptoms of overwatering are often mistaken for water stress , many people end up watering even more when fungal diseases take hold, compounding the problem.
A yellowing, wilting lawn
Too much watering leads to saturated soils and low soil oxygen levels. Your lawn can drown when theres no oxygen available for grass roots, turning it pale green/yellow and making it wilt . Its better for your lawn to get a little dry than to be too wet.
Muddy, compacted, rutted soil
Saturated soil turns into mud. This will compact when stepped on, further reducing oxygen available to the grass. Mud and soggy soil will also slip out of place under the weight of feet and machinery, making ruts and ripping out grass roots as it goes.
Lots of weeds
Fungal problems, such as dollar spot, are common on overwatered lawns.
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The Best Time To Water Your Grass
Follow these eight tips for healthy grass with a deep, strong root system.
Proper watering is as important to maintaining a lush, green lawn. Too little water and the grass will shrivel up and die too much water and itll become over-saturated and die. Watering a lawn seems like a simple enough task, but for most of us knowing the best time to water your grassand how long to water your lawncan be confusing.
To provide you with a time-proven, easy-to-follow strategy for watering lawns, we contacted lawn care expert Matt Maurer, owner of PureLawn Lawn Services, with branches in Cincinnati and Dayton, Ohio. Matt shared with us the following eight DIY-friendly tips for growing a resilient, healthy lawn with a deep, strong root system.
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The absolute best time to water your lawn is the early morning, before 10 a.m., says Maurer. Cooler temperatures and calm breezes help keep evaporation to a minimum. And watering in the morning keeps the turf cooler during the hottest parts of the day, which means less stress on the grass.
As a general rule, you should water long enough to moisten the soil down to about 6 inches, which is the average depth of a healthy grass-root system. It takes about one inch of water to properly hydrate normal lawns to that depth. But, Maurer warns, “Each lawn has different soil. You have to water for your specific property.” There are a few ways to determine whether your lawn is getting the right amount of water.
What Time Of Day Is Best For Watering
It is best to water your lawn very early in the morning around 5 am before the sun is up. This give the grass time to absorb the water before the heat of the day hits.
If you water during the day while the sun is out, the sun will burn off a lot of the water before it gets to the roots. Also, the droplets that are left on the blades of grass can act like a magnifying glass and burn the blades. This is the last thing you would want to happen.
The reason you should not water at night is because the water will sit on the grass overnight which encourages fungi to grow. Fungi can infect your lawn with a disease called leaf spots. This is very unattractive.
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Water Deeply But Not Too Often
- Too much watering can lead to poor growing conditions and disease problems.
- Water only when your lawn needs it, usually no more than once a week when there is no rainfall.
- Apply at least 2.5 cm of water. Put a tuna or pet food can on your lawn to measure how much you’ve watered. Stop watering when it’s full.
- Consider the soil type and surface features. Grass growing on compacted, fine soil or on slopes needs lighter, more frequent watering.
Saving An Overwatered Lawn
Its important to remember that water stress can result from both over-and underwatering. So, before you turn up the irrigation, check your lawns moisture level.
The root system of the average lawn grows to a depth of around four inches, and it can become waterlogged as well as dry. Make sure your irrigation system is running on a cycle that:
- Gives your grass enough moisture each week, relative to changing temperatures ,
- Does not cause runoff during a cycle by spraying more water than the soil can absorb, and
- Is not over-saturating the soil and drowning the lawns roots.
For details on how to recognize and deal with other summer lawn problems, see our article on lawn problems in northern Virginia.
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The Best Time To Water Your Lawn
If you notice that your lawn has a grayish tint or appears to have a dull green color, this is a sign that it needs water. During certain times of the year, water is unnecessary because there is enough precipitation to provide the lawn with all the water it needs. However, at other times drought and heat make regular watering essential.
Depending on where you live, you generally won’t need to water your lawn until June. In general, you can start watering it from late spring through early fall.
What If I Dont Water At All
Thats really your call. Hot weather in Michigan most likely isnt going to kill your lawn just like in winter, your grass will simply go dormant to protect itself during extended dry spells. It just wont be nearly as green and vibrant until its revived by future rainfall. Youll have to decide how much that matters to you.
Still, under extreme drought conditions it is possible that your grass will lose enough moisture from the crown for patches to wither and die. A bare minimum of half an inch of water every second or third week will probably be sufficient to prevent the worst outcomes.
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Adjust Your Lawn Watering Schedule
Timing is important when watering your lawn. The best time to water your lawn is early in the morning really early! Between 4 AM and 7 AM is optimal. If you water during the day, sun and heat will evaporate 20-25% of the water, leaving much less water for your grass. To help with this watering schedule, use a timer on a sprinkler or irrigation system. Its much better than waking up at two in the morning!
You may notice that some people water their lawn every day, sometimes for as little as 10 minutes at a time. Please dont do this! Like most plants, turfgrass does best with infrequent, deep watering that encourages it to grow deeper, stronger roots. Shallow, frequent watering leads to shallow roots that make the plant wilt, and even die, during hot, dry weather.
How Do You Keep A Cool
A regular irrigation schedule will keep cool-season grass green even during the heat of the summer. You may need to apply more water each time without the help of rain. The best schedule depends on your type of soil sandy soil requires shallower, more frequent waterings, while loam and clay soils benefit from deeper, less frequent waterings.
But you can always let cool-season grass go dormant. Its fine. It evolved to do this to survive high heat and low water. Wanting to keep grass green through summer is more of a societal expectation than anything else. If youre in an area with frequent restrictions on watering the lawn, you might as well learn to let it go and spend your time and energy on more enjoyable activities.
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How Much Water Is Needed
As mentioned before, most lawns require 2-3 cm of water per week to soak the soil deeply. If you go over this amount slightly, don’t worry. Just make sure you don’t flood your lawn. Certain factors can influence the amount of water required, such as the type of soil. Clay soil retains much more water than sandy soil, and a lawn established on sandy soil is irrigated less but more often. Another factor is the climate. Naturally, more watering is required if you live in an area characterized by hot, dry air.
Water Infrequently But Deeply
Ensuring your sprinklers are delivering one inch of water per week is fruitless if youre not watering correctly. The general rule of the thumb is to water well-established lawns deeply but not often. Purdue Universitys Turfgrass Science Program recommends ensuring the soil is wet all the way to the deepest root.
The reason for this practice has everything to do with the lawns roots. When you water deeply and infrequently, water sinks deep into the soil, ensuring the root system stays well below ideally six inches or more the soils surface. When you fail to apply enough water, it sits close to the lawns surface, and roots rise in search of that water. Because the top of the soil is susceptible to drying out, the roots will do the same.
So remember, its best to spread out your watering and make sure you do so long enough that it has time to penetrate far beneath the soils surface.
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Find An Ifa Country Store Near You
Information for this article was provided by Aaron Jaussi, Branch Manager, Provo IFA Country Store Tina Potter, Utah Certified Nurseryman, Washington State Certified Nursery Professional , & Lawn & Garden Dept., Ogden IFA Country Store and Ken Holt, Lawn & Garden Category Manager, IFA Country Store
Best Time To Water Grass In Texas
Now that you know how long you should water your lawn and plants, its time for a question that is almost as important: what time of the day should you start watering?
Why does this matter?
When you water matters because heat will cause moisture to evaporate. If you water during the day, when the Texas sun is beating down like a giant oven in the sky, a decent portion of that water isnt going to get to the plants. In other words, its a waste of water and money, and your lawn and plants arent benefiting as much as they should.
Maybe you think, Ill beat the sun by watering at night. Then my plants get all the water. No waste!
Unfortunately, there is a problem with that strategy. If you start watering your lawn at night, theres absolutely no evaporation. That means your plants will get wet and stay wet. If this happens, your plants are more susceptible to all kinds of diseases.
So, youre trading off not allowing enough water to get to them for the fairly strong possibility that youll, essentially, make your plants sick.
That doesnt seem like a great tradeoff, does it?
Luckily, there is a best of both worlds solution: water in the early morning.
When you set your sprinklers to run early in the day, you minimize evaporation, since the sun isnt at full strength yet. The water can soak down into the soil, and your plants can drink their fill.
So, is that all you need to do to ensure your grass stays green all summer long?
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