Summertime is great for swimming, barbecues and playing hookie from work to hit the beach up but, summer is not winning any great lawn-hosting awards – too hot, too dry. Your lawn could be suffering – especially if you’re not prancing through your sprinklers like a dancer on the set of Flashdance (aka watering your lawn enough).
Under or over-watered grass can show signs of distress quickly including turning grey (yes – some grass such as Kentucky Bluegrass turns grey!), darker green, brown, new bare spots in your lawn, compacted soil.
Today, we are sharing our easily-to-follow watering strategy to keep your lawn healthy and thriving and hopefully, keeping you entertained in the process because, we know how boring of a read this COULD be.
When to Water
You wake up – maybe you have kids or pets poking you in the face like we do or, that dreaded alarm goes off and you dismiss it 32 times before you get out of bed. Whatever you do, WATER YOUR LAWN IN THE MORNING!! Preferably, before 10 am, for the least amount of evaporation. Also, the calmer morning breezes in the morning ensure the water is not getting blown in all different directions – much like the way life has done to us.
Watering in the morning will also help keep the soil cooler during the hotter parts of the day which reduces the amount of stress the grass is under. We wish it were that easy to control our own stress :p
When NOT to water
Do not water in the middle of the day! If you water in the middle of the day, the water will just evaporate before it gets a chance to sink down into the roots and your precious watering time will be wasted. Plus, you’ll think your lawn is perfectly watered and you’ll be calling us to yell at us, I mean, ask us why there are so many brown spots all over the place.
DON’T WATER IN THE EVENING/NIGHT! As tempting as it is to mindlessly water your lawn after a long day at work (because, isn’t that the first thing on your mind when you get home?), don’t! Watering at night keeps the grass wet for too long; allowing for perfect conditions for fungus and disease.
The next best time to water would be late afternoon.
How Much Water Is Enough Water and The Screwdriver Test
We’ve heard far too many clients say their lawn is being watered correctly because they have sprinklers. This may not necessarily be true. Sprinklers may not be on long enough or, they may not be covering the entire lawn.
When you water your lawn, you want to make sure that you are getting full coverage (sprinklers often miss certain spots of the lawn). Pay close attention to “hot spots” and incline areas of the lawn as these areas usually get more sun. Also make sure the first 6 inches of the soil is damp. A good rule of thumb is 1 inch of water a week.
Now, don’t go digging up your lawn to see if it’s damp enough 6 inches down. So, how can you tell that the soil is moist (any one else hate that word) enough? The Screwdriver Test, of course!
Take a screwdriver and push it into the ground. If it’s easy to push in, congratulations – you are a lawn watering master. If it’s difficult to push in, stand there a little longer, you watering fool, because you got some more work to do!
Speaking of sprinklers….
I know, we weren’t talking about sprinklers at all but, I couldn’t come up with a good segway…
Which Sprinkler Is Best If You Don’t Have Built-In Irrigation?
So, you’re not one of the lucky ones to have built-in, don’t-have-to-think-about-this-damn-watering-stuff sprinkler systems? That’s OK! If you don’t have the time to water with a hose, just use a sprinkler, or two, or three…
BUT, use the RIGHT sprinkler(s) for the job!
Established Turf: If your grass is as “established” as we are, you will want to use a revolving sprinkler. Revolving sprinklers spew out water faster than my no-filter mouth so, water has a better chance of getting down deep into those roots.
But, if it’s NEW grass/grass seed, you’ll want something else…
New Turf: If you just put in some good ole sweat equity laying down new grass seed, the last thing you want to do is pelt it away with a revolving sprinkler. So, get yourself one of those simple oscillating sprinklers. You know, the ones stood directly on top of as a kid and you’re still not sure why that entertained you for so long. Those sprinklers will do the trick.
Remember to turn them on in the morning for 15-20 minutes and that you are getting FULL coverage on your lawn.
And just when you think you’ve got watering your lawn-watering skills down , we’re going to throw one more wrench at y: do. not. over-water.
I know, I know – why’s it gotta be so difficult. I’m a wife – that’s what I do. But for real, you should know that it is possible to over-water your lawn. Remember what we said about watering at night and how that creates the perfect ground for fungus and disease? Well, the same holds true if you water too often and not letting it dry out enough.
And, if you see mushrooms – FUHGHETABOUTIT, rip out your lawn and start over. Just kidding, that’s just a sign of that fungus and probably over-watering.
So, you only need to water every 3-5 days (3 days for the hot and dry weather) and for 15-20 minutes at a time. So, turn those sprinklers on and put a timer on your phone or, better yet, play a 15 minute playlist while you dance around your lawn with hose in-hand. Your neighbors might not enjoy the sight but, you’ll have the nicest lawn on the block and who doesn’t want that??
So, here is your handy-dandy summary:
So – that’s it. Now, that your a Pristine Certified Lawn Watering Master, get out there and start watering!
Take a selfie of you watering and tag us on Facebook @pristinephc to enter into our monthly drawing for $100 Visa Giftcard.