Summer is here, and with temperatures creeping into the mid-nineties already, it’s making its annual entrance this year in a big way. But while warm weather gives you a nice excuse to take a trip down to the pool or enjoy your favorite ice-cold beverage, these hot temperatures also put your lawn at risk of scorching. With proper watering, however, your lawn can stay green and beautiful in the midst of the sun’s harsh rays.
When to Water?
“I just heard the ice cream man for the first time this summer! Time to break out the sprinklers, right?” Well, not exactly. Watering your yard as soon as the weather starts to get warmer isn’t necessary, and could even have negative effects on your lawn.
Water your yard only when it needs it. A couple of quick ways to tell if the lawn needs watering is by checking the color and springiness of the grass. A healthy lawn should be reasonably springy. If foot prints remain longer than usual, it may be time to start watering. Also, a changing in the color to slightly blue-grey tint, or a browning or wilting of grass blades are also warning signs of a thirsty lawn.
How Much is Enough?
Watering deep enough is essential to promote deep root growth. Shallow waterings can have the opposite desired effect by encouraging weed growth and the shallowing of grass roots. Watering down to the roots of the grass will ensure a healthy lawn by encouraging the roots to grow deeper.
Finding out exactly how much water your lawn needs can be a little tricky, and can be achieved by digging into a small area of the yard to see how deep your roots are and how saturated the soil is after a test watering, but this isn’t absolutely necessary. A good rule of thumb is to aim for about 1″ of water each week – including both rainwater and additional waterings. This amount should penetrate to the roots of most grasses, without going deeper. Also, keep in mind newer lawns will need more water than mature lawns as well.
Spread the Love
It’s important to make sure your entire lawn is covered evenly. Experiment with different sprinkler placements to find what works best for your lawn. If there’s a hard-to-reach area, consider watering this part by hand.
Try to keep the water off of paved areas such as sidewalks and driveways. This will do nothing to help your lawn, and will only serve to waste water and create runoff.
Time is of the Essence
The time of day that you water is important as well. Cool early mornings (around 4:00 A.M. to 9:00 A.M.) are the most ideal for watering. Evaporation caused by the scorching midday sun will make watering during midday or afternoons less fruitful and wasteful. While evenings are much cooler, and less evaporation will occur, leaving the lawn wet all night can encourage diseases to take control of your yard.
Rain, Rain, Don’t Go Away
Rainfall is by far the best irrigation system for your lawn. Be sure to take advantage of it. There’s nothing more pointless than running your sprinkler during a shower. Keep on eye on weather reports to plan accordingly if rain is on its way. Too much watering can lead to other negative effects. Consider picking up a rain gauge, and adjust your watering as necessary.
For more information on proper watering techniques, contact the lawn care experts at Vision Scapes at 260.485.2683.