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!
When to Water
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 lawns in 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.
If you’re wondering how often to water your lawn in 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.
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. Don’t get fooled into thinking the more the merrier, as this will only worsen your yard. Water deeply and less frequently this summer, and many of your potential grass problems can be liquidated!
If you’re still struggling to get healthy, green grass, contact your local Lawn Doctor to see what services are available.