Lawn Watering

Lawn watering is vital for grass seed germination, plant formation, cooling and nutrient absorption. The weight of a grass plant is composed mainly from water-about 85%. Grass will lose water from sunlight, high temperature, low humidity, and wind. If grass does not get enough water to replenish what it has lost, it will wilt and eventually die. Properly using irrigation systems will help you to make sure your lawn is being watered adequately.

Some grass is more drought tolerant than others. However new grass that is less than a year old, or grass that is on compacted soil require more water. This is because the grass does not have deep roots established. Conversely, mature grass grown in good soil will have deep roots and will require less water.

The amount of water your lawn needs will depend on the type of grass you have, the time of year, the amount of sun or shade in the yard. When watering your lawn, don't over saturate the soil. Excess water can encourage weed growth, lead to fungal diseases and more frequent mowing, in addition to wasting water and causing fertilizer and pesticide runoff.

Oxygen in the soil is needed for grass (and other plants) to grow. Over watering is likely to cause insufficient oxygen to be absorbed in the pores of the soil, which will lead to the roots suffocating and the grass dying. On the other hand, too little water does not allow the roots to replenish water they have lost, which leads to roots drying up and dying.

A little bit of drought stress is good as it encourages deep rooting. Water only when grass shows signs of wilt stress. Signs of wilt are when grass blades start turning to a bluish-gray color and the grass does not spring back when walking across the lawn.

If you must water your lawn, do it deeply. Water until the soil is moist, six to eight inches deep. That may require up to two inches of water at one time. Don't follow the common practice of sprinkling a little water over the lawn each day. This only encourages shallow rooting, drought intolerance, and thatch buildup. If you are concerned about water waste, use more drought-tolerant fescues or Bermuda grass. Remember if you received a good rainfall during the week, using irrigation systems may not be needed.

Your soil type is a major factor of how quickly your grass can be watered. For example, one inch of water applied to sandy soil will penetrate twelve inches, and around eight inches in good soil. Clay soil may only be moist four to five inches down.

It is best to water early in the morning. This is when evaporation loss is the lowest. Later afternoon lawn watering is okay, but wind may result in the lawn not being watered in a uniform manner. Nighttime lawn watering increases the chance of fungal diseases.

Use the "catch can" test to figure out how much water is being applied to your lawn. Place five or six clean, empty, tuna or cat food cans around your yard. Run the irrigation system for 15 minutes. Measure the water depth in the cans. One inch of water equals 12 inches of wetness in the soil. If the level is unequal among the cans, your system needs to be adjusted.

Mowing your lawn incorrectly will injure the grass and leave it weak and susceptible to pests and diseases. Keep your mower blades sharp so you don't tear the grass and don't remove more than 1/3 of the height of your lawn each time. Mow at the highest recommended height for your type of grass and don't mow when it is wet.

An important mowing factor is height. Increasing the height of your cuts results in deeper, more drought tolerant roots; less-rapid regrowth; hardier turf; a cooler, moister soil; greater resistance to weeds, insects and disease; and less costly, time consuming lawn maintenance.

Water Lawn | Irrigation Systems