Watering Your Lawn

It’s simply amazing how a mid-summer drought can burn out a lawn, turning it brown and dry. More amazing still, is how the return of rain and cooler temperatures will bring back that lush, green growth. In most cases, lawns will come back with little or no long-term damage. Nature certainly built toughness into most grasses.

Many of us want lush, green lawns all year. So, watering is an important part of a healthy, green lawn. Here are some tips and ideas for proper watering to assure maximum benefit to your lawn.

Did you know? Rain falls at about 19 miles per hour.

Timing- Ah, timing is everything in life!

People will water their lawns day or night, whenever it is convenient. Some people (and many businesses, apartments, and golf courses) employ automatic sprinklers, and water in the middle of the night or in the wee hours of the morning before dawn when people are not out and about.

The choice of timing is generally a matter of convenience……when are you home to water your lawn? Regardless of the answer, it is important to know the advantages and disadvantages of day versus nighttime watering.

Daybreak or just before dawn is the ideal time to water your lawn. Evaporation is at a minimum, and the rising sun will quickly dry the grass, reducing the likelihood of disease. Unfortunately, many of us have a day job to go to, and find it difficult at best, to go out in morning before work to get the hoses and sprinklers working.

Daytime– Daytime is also a good time to water your lawn. You can pour on generous amounts and allow it to soak in. The blades of grass dry quickly, minimizing the risk of plant disease. The major disadvantage is it takes more water. Evaporation steals a portion of the water you apply, before it can soak in and reach the grass roots.

Nighttime– A lot of us choose nighttime and the hours just before dark for two reasons. First, is the simple fact that we are home. After dinner is the time many of us devote to caring for our lawns and yards. We also know that the water we apply will not be robbed by the sun through evaporation. The major disadvantage is plant disease thrives in wet, humid conditions. The water sits on the blades of grass all night, improving the breeding ground for disease.

Did you know? One of the best times to water your lawn is when it is raining. Often, summer rains are too light to add any real benefit. Supplementing the rainfall with your sprinkler gets the water down to a sufficient depth to water all of the roots. Remember, we are talking about light summer rains, not thunder storms or heavy downpours. Give it some thought….give it a try.

How much and How often?

General wisdom is to water your lawn deeply once or twice a week. Apply one to one and a half inches or water each time. Light, daily watering leaves too much water at or near the surface of the soil, and does not reach all of the roots where it is needed.

Deep watering allows moisture to reach the deepest roots. Allowing the soil to dry between watering will encourage the roots to go deeper to reach the moisture and nutrients it needs.

Daily, light watering will cause the roots of your grass to become dependent upon you to provide the water that it needs. So, train your lawn, before it trains you!

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