Are you watering correctly?
When it comes to irrigating lawns during hot summer months, improper techniques can hurt your grass more than help it. Overwatering, irrigating at wrong times of the day, and watering too often can be ineffective and—at times—downright harmful. Our summer irrigation advice will help your lawn soak in the fun during the heat!
Best Time to Water Grass in Summer
Watering on a hot summer afternoon is a horrible idea. The liquid will evaporate too quickly and may not reach your grass’s roots, so heat and irrigation shouldn’t go together. Instead, the best time to water grass during summer is in the morning. The ideal time for morning watering is before 9 AM. The weather should be cool enough for the nutrients to get to the soil, allowing your turf to stay refreshed. Additionally, your turf will have the whole day to dry, and the calmer winds will keep the water from blowing away. Even though nighttime may also have cooler conditions, evening irrigation could lead to lawn disease and attract pests. When it comes to showering your yard with the gift of nutrients, stick to the AM.
So, how often should you water your lawn in the summer? The answer may surprise you. Between irrigation and natural rainfall, your grass should receive between 1 and 1.5 inches of water each week during the summer. Water deeply every other day for the best results. Your turf should receive about 1/3 an inch of water every two days in order to maintain deeper roots, thus helping protect against drought. You should not water your grass every single day for a few minutes, as this could leave it susceptible to drought over the long haul.
Having sprinklers that correspond to the size and shape of your yard is important for proper watering. Below is a list of various sprinklers:
- Stationary sprinklers – used to water small patches or specific areas of grass
- Rotary and impact sprinklers – used for medium to large lawns in a circular motion
- Oscillating sprinklers – produces a fan of water for a rectangular area
Make sure your sprinklers apply water evenly throughout the yard. To do this, follow these steps.
- Take an empty tuna can and place it in the midst of one of your sprinkler’s patterns.
- Run the system for a set amount of time, and take note of the can’s water level.
- Repeat this process with each sprinkler for the same amount of time.
If the tuna can collect about the same amount of water in each trial, you’re in good shape. If not, adjust your sprinkler system to establish more consistent water coverage. It’s also important to empty the can immediately at the end of this process in order to prevent it from becoming a potential breeding site for mosquitoes.
Keep an eye out for puddles of water and run-off, as these are signs of overwatering. Likewise, make sure you are not watering the street; no matter how much you irrigate, the pavement won’t grow.
What Does Overwatering Look Like?
Interestingly, lawns that receive too much water are sometimes worse off than lawns that receive too little water. Overwatering can even block precious nutrients from reaching the roots. There are several things to look for if you’re worried you might be overwatering. Weeds such as crabgrass and even fungi can thrive in wet areas, and the puddles that can form from overwatering are great places for them to grow. Additionally, the overwatering can keep the roots from growing deeper and instead bring them to the surface and allow them to decompose, killing your grass. These exposed roots, weeds, and fungi can attract more insects than normal. Keep an eye out for puddles of water and run-off, as these are signs of overwatering. Likewise, make sure you are not watering the street; no matter how much you irrigate, the pavement won’t grow. Water deeply and less frequently this summer, and many of your potential grass problems can be liquidated!
What Does Underwatering Look Like?
Not enough water is another easy way to harm your grass without realizing what you are doing. Patches of dry, yellow grass are a sure sign that your grass is not receiving the amount of water it needs. If you’re looking for more signs that your lawn may be underwatered you can also keep an eye out for dry gravelly soil. This means it isn’t retaining water and applying smaller amounts of water more frequently will help it retain moisture. Additionally, there is a type of fungus that appears called Ascochyta Leaf Blight that appears in dry grass. It appears as long, yellow, brittle grass. Using lawn revival products can help keep your lawn healthy even during times of drought. Lawn Doctor has all everything you need to get started.
If you’re still struggling to get healthy, green grass, contact your local Lawn Doctor to see what services are available.