During the long hot months of summer, it's sometimes necessary to water your lawn. Sometimes, watering can do more harm than good if it's done incorrectly. Here are some of the basic dos and don'ts.
Mornings are absolutely the best time when watering your lawn. This way, the grass has a chance to dry out completely during the heat of the day. Morning moisture also helps to reduce the rate of water evaporation, This reduces the amount of water needed for the job and helps conservation efforts during especially dry times.
When you water your lawn in the evenings, there is no chance for the ground to dry out completely. The ground stays moist all night and this creates the perfect environment for fungus and insect damage to develop. However, if your schedule dictates that evenings are the only time to water, shut the sprinklers and hoses off at least 30 minutes before sundown. This will give the grass a fighting chance to dry out a bit.
Water holds well in our clay based soil. It is generally recommended that you water one inch once per week or 1/2 inch twice weekly. This way you're watering the root zone of the grass which is 6 to 8 inches deep in a healthy lawn. If you notice puddles of water on the lawn, you've watered too much.
Watering the lawn deeply, but less frequently is always preferable to frequent, shallow waterings.
It is considered to be shallow watering when you water the root zone less than three inches deep. The dangers of shallow watering are numerous. It makes the lawn less drought resistant. The lawn is also more likely to have weed, insect, disease and thatch problems. Additionally, more water evaporation occurs from shallow watering practices.
Before you start your preferred method of irrigation, make sure that you're not watering paved walkways, driveways or the street. How many times have you driven by someone's home and the sprinkler is watering the driveway? Don't use a fine mist spray either. A slow steady stream of water drops is preferable for the turf and there is less runoff this way too.
Wind is a big factor also. Avoid watering during high winds...it's useless to try to direct water toward the lawn when it's too windy.
Using proper watering techniques can help you enjoy green grass all summer long.