We are not the only ones fighting the heat and drought this summer. Your lawn is suffering as well. Even though it’s as simple as putting a sprinkler in your lawn and turning the water on, there are several things we need to pay attention to in order to maintain a healthy lawn. When? How often? What time of the day? How much? These are just a few of the questions home owners deal with while maintaining their lawns.
How do I know when my lawn needs watering?
This question may be the easiest for you to answer. It certainly isn’t a question that needs the expert advice of your local agricultural center or professional lawn care company.
There are two distinct symptoms that will tell you that your lawn is in need of water no matter the grass type. The color of your lawn is one sign it’s time for you to water and secondly, how resilient the turf is to normal, everyday foot traffic.
Contrary to popular belief a lawn that is browning isn’t the first sign it’s in need. When your lawn begins feeling the effects of drought, or the lack of proper watering, it does begin to change colors. Whether it is a cool weather or warm weather turf the color of the grass deepens. Some describe it as a deep purple, others as a shade of black similar to dark graphite'”like the lead of a pencil.
A casual stroll across the lawn is another way to determine of your lawn needs water. If you see the indentations of your footprints in the lawn and it isn’t springing back to its original form it’s time.
What is the best time of the day for watering the lawn?
Watering in the early morning hours is the ideal time and there are several reasons for choosing the morning versus the afternoons or evenings.
Watering in the afternoon does give your lawn the temporary appearance it’s healthy. But, you aren’t getting the full benefit that you could.
Evaporation is one of your main culprits in losing the effectiveness of a good application of water. With the heat and direct sunlight we are dealing with the water applied quickly evaporates.
The cool night air serves as an ideal environment for different types of fungi to develop. People who use fertilizers on a regular basis actually increase the chances of this happening. In some cases, watering at night can lead to root development problems as well.
How often should I water my lawn?
A key to maintaining a healthy lawn isn’t necessarily how often you water your lawn, but how much water actually applied. The healthiest lawns are watered consistently, ideally once per week. Just as important as a consistent watering practice, the amount you apply matters as well. That amount differs depending on what type of lawn you have.
Recommendations ‘” Inches per week:
Kentucky Bluegrass 1.2″
Tall Fescue 0.8″
Zoysia / Bermuda 0.5″
Much like your personal appearance, maintaining a health lawn is a point of pride with today’s home owners. A small change in your practices can make a world of difference.
Brad Fresenburg, “To water or not to water home lawns,” Associated Content by Yahoo!.