In our last post, we discussed what all you needed to do to maintain a beautiful, green carpet of grass. While we discussed grass height and other factors, we didn’t get into enough depth on the topic of watering your lawn. Giving your grass the proper amount of water is crucial to the overall health of your lawn and needs to be carefully monitored and controlled for optimal results.
How Much Water Does Your Lawn Need?
Gauging how often you should water your lawn can seem like a guessing game, particularly when rainfall, temperatures and even the type of grass you have all play a part in determining the frequency of watering. There are some general guidelines, however, to keep in mind:
- Your lawn should get 1” to 1-1/2” of water every week.
- Water as early in the morning as you can, particularly on hotter days so that the water can soak down and keep the roots cooler.
- Avoid watering your lawn in the evening or at night. A damp lawn overnight can lead to problems with fungus or disease
- You don’t have to water every day. Watering deeply two or three times a week gives better results because it encourages roots to grow more deeply into the soil
- Are you watering enough? Try this test – you should be able to push a screwdriver six inches into the soil. If you can’t do this, your yard is too dry
- If you live in a drier climate, water your lawn year round (even if the grass appears to be dead) so that the roots continue to get the moisture they need in order to flourish once spring rolls around
- Keep in mind that when temperatures soar, your grass can suffer from heat stress and rapid water evaporation, so add an extra inch to your weekly watering routine
- Fescue grass generally needs more water than other types of grass
- When the temperature goes up or when there are high winds causing rapid evaporation, consider moving your mower height up slightly so that the grass has more time to soak up the moisture
- If temperatures remain high (high 90’s or 100’s) for several days, you may want to cool things off by watering lightly each day. The water doesn’t have to penetrate the soil every day; instead, lighter waterings can cool down the surface of the grass. Keep doing the deep waterings in addition to the light waterings
Determining How Much Water Your Lawn Gets
You may know that you should be watering 1” to 1-1/2” inches each time you water your lawn, but how do you measure the inches? The easiest method is to get a small, shallow can such as a cat food or tuna can and use it as a makeshift rain gauge. Place the empty can on your lawn whenever you’re watering the grass or have the sprinkler running. You should be able to get a half inch of water in about a half hour.
Signs You Need to Water More
If you’re watering your lawn and you have water run-off before you reach the 1” point, you aren’t watering often enough. Once you see run-off, turn off the water and give it some time to really soak into the ground, then start watering again. If this happens every time you water, you may have lawn compaction. This is especially prevalent in areas where the soil has a high clay content. Aerating the soil can help. If none of this releaves the problem, your lawn may be suffering from a lack of nutrients or a disease that can be difficult to eradicate. If your grass continues to look stressed or dried out, you may want to consult with a lawn care service. PennTurf can examine your lawn to determine what fertilizers or other treatments would help keep your lawn looking lush and green.
Call Penn Turf at 724-758-3647 or Mr. B’s Lawn Care at 724-752-5551 to get a quote for lawn treatment, grub control or mowing.