Lawn Watering Guidelines To Understand
As summer wears on, lawns are becoming drier, yellower, and harder to maintain throughout the United States. We all fight the urge to water our lawn several times a day when we know water conservation is a goal for a healthy environment. However, not watering your lawn 24/7 doesn’t mean you have to accept having a less-than-beautiful-looking lawn. In fact, by following a few lawn care guidelines, you can enjoy saving water, enriching your soil, and having vibrant green grass with complete ease.
More Water Isn’t Always Better
When the grass starts to dry out and become dull, many homeowners’ first instinct is to turn on the sprinklers for extended periods of time or to pick up the hose several more times per week. However, when you do this you could actually be doing more harm than good for your struggling lawn. In fact, overwatering plants are often more damaging than underwatering them and that includes grass. Grass and other plants can often perk up and recover quite quickly after a period of dryness, but sitting in flooded soil can cause rotting that completely kills the plant. At this point, it may require much more time, energy, and money to replace.
How Much You Should Be Watering
If you’re going to water your lawn correctly, you’ll need to do some math to determine exactly how much water you should use and how long you should run your sprinkler system.
Generally, most lawns will require between 1 inch and 1 ½ inches of water each week [throughout the entire year in order to thrive. However, this can vary based on a number of different factors, including:
- Type of grass
There are more than a dozen different types of grasses, and many lawns contain a mixture of two or more types. Turf grasses fall into two basic categories: Warm-season grasses thrive in warmer climates, such as the southern, southeast and Gulf Coast regions of the U.S. Cool-season grasses are best suited for regions that experience cold winters and widespread temperature fluctuations, such as those states located in the north, northeast, upper Midwest and the Pacific Northwest.
The warmer the climate you live in, the more water both types of grass will need as well. While figuring out how much water your lawn needs throughout the week, if your lawn becomes too soggy and saturated after the first week, cut back the amount of water the next week.
If the grass is still dry, curly and brown, consider increasing the amount of water you’re using by small increments. Continue doing this until you find that the soil seems to be absorbing all the water and your grass looks and feels healthy.
It’s Good to Know How Long & How Much At A Time You Should Water Your Lawn
For best results, try to distribute the necessary amount of water across your lawn with 2 to 3 inches deep water weekly. This gives the soil plenty of time to soak up the water without giving your grass enough time to dry out and turn brown again.
The time of day you water is also important. Ideally, you should be watering your grass first thing in the morning. This gives your grass access to water throughout the rest of the day, including when the sun is at its highest and hottest. The soil should feel hydrated but no too soggy several inches down. This type of preparation helps to keep your grass from shriveling up during the afternoon.
Prep Your Lawn
Watering your lawn often enough and thoroughly enough is crucial to maintaining healthy plant growth, but there are more steps you can take to ensure you’re getting a beautiful lawn without wasting water or ruining your soil. Using an organic soil additive such as Harvest Gold Organics in order to give your lawn a good foundation to grow on. The unique silica-based formula in this product not only feeds your plants but helps to retain moisture in the soil, which means less watering for you and more nutrients for your grass.
Checking Moisture Levels
Sometimes, it’s difficult to simply trust that you’re giving your grass enough water. For many, tangible proof is required for determining whether or not they’re taking the right steps to get the job done correctly. Fortunately, when it comes to checking your lawn, there are plenty of options to choose from.
If you’re uncertain if you’re watering your lawn thoroughly or often enough, there are several tests you can run to check moisture levels:
- Using a moisture meter
- The Screwdriver Test
- Coffee Mugs
- Digging a hole
The most reliable method is using a specialized moisture meter on your grass. This involves using an efficient and easy-to-decipher dial that shows how dry or wet your soil is. Ensure the rod of the meter is between six and eight inches into the earth you’re testing to get an accurate reading. Be sure to check several spots in your yard as well to ensure water is being distributed evenly.
The Screwdriver Test is another, simpler option. After you water for about half an hour, turn off the sprinkler, take an old screwdriver and poke a hole in the soil big enough to get your finger down into the hole. Ideally, you should be able to press the screwdriver into the soil at least 6 inches deep with relative ease. If you’re unable to do this, you’re likely not watering enough. You’ll need to run this test on different portions of your yard to confirm even watering.
Coffee Mugs: a simple rain gauge hack. Set two or three coffee mugs out in the lawn, where the sprinkler will reach them. When the mugs have about an inch of water in them, you have probably watered enough. One inch in a coffee mug is the equivalent of several inches of moisture in the soil, depending on the character of the soil.
Finally, if you don’t have a moisture meter or want to do the screwdriver or coffee mug methods, you have the option of digging a hole to check the moisture under the surface of your lawn. Use a trowel or small shovel to dig down 6 to 8 inches into your lawn, and then reach inside. If the dirt at the bottom easily conforms to your palm, your moisture levels are good. If the dirt is instead dry and crumbly, your lawn could likely use a bit more water.
Grow Your Perfect Lawn
Contact Harvest Gold Organics to learn more about what you have to gain through the use of their unique, organic soil additive and how, when and where to water your lawn and garden to get the best results with the most efficiency possible. Keeping your lawn vibrant is important, but doing it in a way that saves water, time and money is even more crucial to growing your dream lawn.