The dry heat of summer can quickly make a green lawn lifeless. While watering your lawn is the obvious remedy, ideal watering methods might not always be so apparent. It’s not enough to simply drench your lawn. In fact, too much watering can be both wasteful and damaging.
PACE AND PATIENCE
Running sprinklers at full blast for a short period of time may seem like a way to deliver a lot of water quickly. Hard, dry soil, however, is resistant to water and not able to absorb a sudden deluge. Instead it will run off to areas where it’s not needed, leaving turf areas unwatered.
For best results, give your lawn extended periods of gentle soaking. Long periods of low water pressure are very effective in allowing the soil to loosen up and absorb the majority of water. Once absorbed, the moisture is easily delivered further down to the turf’s roots. Ideal timing varies, depending on soil type as well as current conditions. Once the top 6 inches of soil are soaked, you can assume that the grass has been thoroughly watered. Thorough watering takes time, not a quick “splash and dash.”
Another key aspect of proper watering is when you do it. As with the length of watering periods, ideal timing may not always be the most convenient. The best time to water your lawn in the summer is between the hours of 4 and 8 AM. This window is perfect because it avoids the scorching heat of mid-day, when large amounts of water can be lost to evaporation. Intense sunlight is also bad for irrigation, because water droplets act as tiny magnifying glasses that can burn blades of turf.
Watering later in the evening is problematic as well. Irrigation late in the day can create an environment in which fungal diseases thrive. Extended periods of warm wet turf create the perfect setting for fungal growth. Unfortunately, this means that watering for an hour or two after work is not ideal.
Watering your lawn may seem like a basic task, but there’s more to it than simply turning on a garden hose. Efficient and effective irrigation practices lead to a lush, healthy lawn that thrives all season long.