We get asked this question all the time. How do I water my lawn? Or when we suggest watering, many people instantly get defensive and say I don’t have time or I can’t because I’m on a well. Hey, we get it!
You don’t have to do it in the spring and fall because Mother Nature typically provides enough moisture during those time frames. You only need to consider it in the summer, when you notice dry spots. Right now is the best opportunity you’ll have to see the dry areas, where they are, and create a plan of attack the next prolonged drought period we have. It’s not as hard as you think, and if you do it properly, you will only have to do it once or twice per week, only in the areas that need it, when they need it. If you do it right, it’s minimal effort, and you will SAVE GALLONS OF WATER DOING IT PROPERLY!
If you have an irrigation system…..PAY CLOSE ATTENTION!
1″ per week is the rule. Set out a cup and mark 1/4″ and another at 1/2″. Get your sprinkler out and set a timer. Turn your sprinkler on and water until the bowl or container has 1/4″ of water in it. Keep going to 1/2″ and write down both times. It should take the same amount of time for each 1/4″.
Let’s say it takes 60 minutes to apply 1/2″ of water. That means you need to do it twice per week. Perhaps once on Monday and again on Thursday. Don’t ever water an established lawn for 25-30 minutes. It’s a waste of water. Please don’t do it in the middle of the day, only early in the morning before the sun comes up. You will give the soil time to absorb what you applied and move down deeper into the root zone before the sun evaporates.
DEEP SOAKING EVENTS ONLY!
Watering every day keeps the leaf tissue moist. If there is disease present, then you’ll be keeping it alive and actively growing! Your goal is to keep the leaf tissue DRY and the soil wet. Do this by long watering events that are few and far between. If you only water for 30 minutes, you’ll only get the top 1/4″ of soil wet or less! It would be best if you tried to apply enough water to saturate the soil deeply. What this means is that you need to do it for an extended period. If you only water a little at a time, you’re wasting water as most of it will evaporate from the sun. If you water for long periods, you’ll help train the root systems to grow deeper to get it! You don’t want the roots growing upwards to get water, do you?
NO IRRIGATION SYSTEM? NO PROBLEM!
You can make your buy investing in inexpensive technology that will operate at the correct time and the right length with a little preparation. Once you know how long it takes to water 1/2″ plan to do that twice per week when conditions are warranted. When we go weeks with high temperatures and no rain events, that is precisely the time you should start considering breaking out your timers and sprinklers. Below is a CRUDE diagram of what we recommend and some links to the parts on Amazon. After a month of no rain and high heat, you can expect any lawn to start exhibit stress. When lawns are stressed, disease and insects will be sure to follow.