Watering Your Lawn
One of the more frequent questions that I am asked is "How do I water my lawn?" or "How long do I water my lawn?"
Every situation has a different answer.
Here are some things to consider when you're watering your lawn.
- How much direct sunlight does your lawn get?
- Does it get sun for at least 8 hours a day?
- Does your lawn have filtered sunlight?
- Is your lawn very shady? Maybe only getting 4-6 hours a day of direct sunlight?
- If your lawn gets less than 4 hours of sunlight, then it's very difficult to grow grass.
Lay of the Land
- Is your lawn very flat?
- Does it have areas that hold water?
- Does your lawn slope?
- What is the grade of the slope? Is it steep?
- What direction does the slope face? Is it facing south where it might dry out faster?
- How many trees do you have?
- The trees are very effective at getting water from the ground.
- The trees are in competition with the turf for nutrients and water.
Soil Make Up
- Is your soil fertile?
- Is your soil clay?
- Are there many rocks?
- Do you have a new lawn with a new construction? Some builders don't remove all of the rocks.
- Rocks underground can show up as being very dry.
- If you have healthy soil, an inch of water a week is plenty. If you are heavy in clay, then you might need to increase it to an inch and a half a week.
Times to Water
- Make sure you water very early in the morning.
- Don't water past 10 a.m. in the morning.
- In the heat of the summer, water that left on the grass can turn to steam and it's like you're steaming your vegetables.
- Try not to water in the evening. When you water in the evening, you run the risk for fungus because the grass doesn't have time to dry out.
Water Make Up
- Sometimes the water is full of sodium bicarbonates which can create a problem.
- It's hard to treat the water, so it's better to treat the soil. Gypsum will help to flush that out of the soil, so you can get the by carbonates to an acceptable level.
- That's why we see that God's watering system is always better. In our rain water, we don't have those kinds of things that we pick up from the city water. God's water is better because it doesn't have the bicarbonates in it.
- Bicarbonates often cause dry patches. The ground becomes dry there. They are called isolated dry spots. The soil becomes so hard that it actually repels the water and it's like you're watering a brick. There are things you can use that helps to penetrate that soil profile. Sometimes, fracturing the soil with a pitch fork will help to allow the water to percolating
- It is very important to always aerate every year, so the water is the most effective.
Amount of Water
- If you're struggling with knowing how much water you're putting on your lawn, then grab several rain gauges and place them around your lawn. You need about an inch a week.
- Make sure you don't overwater your lawn.
- When you overwater, the water displaces the oxygen and that causes the roots not to go deep to look for water. When there is a lot of roots on the surface, it causes thatch.
- Thatch levels increase when you water too much. It also blocks nutrients and critters like to hang out in the thatch layer which isn't good for your lawn.
- Your lawn will appreciate less water and so will your pocketbook.
Don't be Afraid to Go Dormant
- I need to let you know that it's ok if your lawn goes dormant. I know it's ugly, but it isn't necessarily a bad thing.
- Don't stress out over it. Having it go dormant is a better option than overwatering which will result in a fungus that kills the plant.