Proper watering is essential when trying to restore or maintain a lush green lawn. If watered incorrectly, a lawn can be susceptible to a host of problems, including insect infestation, weak roots and disease.
When watering a lawn, especially when temperatures start to soar in the summer, it’s easy to think a lawn needs more water and needs it during those hours of the day when the sun is at its most intense. However, those are two common misconceptions about watering. The following are a handful of tips for homeowners who want to help their lawns endure the summer heat and maintain their lush appeal into the fall.
* Water when temperatures are mild. In the summertime, humans typically need water when temperatures are at their most extreme, but that does not mean lawns should be watered when temperatures soar. Water attracts the sun, so watering when temperatures are at their hottest, which is typically around midday and into early afternoon, will likely lead to brown spots indicative of a burned lawn. That’s because the sun will be drawn to the water, bearing down on the lawn and burning the grass as a result. When summer arrives, a lawn is best watered when temperatures are at their most mild. That often translates to early morning or early evening. An added benefit of watering when temperatures are on the mild side is less water will be lost to evaporation during this time, meaning you won’t be wasting water.
* Situate sprinklers to conserve water. Homeowners who won’t be hand watering their lawns should make sure their sprinklers are placed properly throughout their property. Situate sprinklers so they aren’t watering driveways, walkways or patios. All of the water should be going to the grass, especially when drought restrictions are in place and the amount of watering the law allows is limited. It’s also important to make sure water from sprinklers isn’t being blocked from reaching the grass by trees. Homeowners with especially large trees on their property should consider hand watering the grass beneath such trees to ensure these areas receive adequate water.
* Lean on mulch. Homeowners tend to fear drought for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is that drought can cause a green lawn to turn brown, potentially affecting property value and robbing a landscape of its beauty. But there are ways to help the soil retain moisture when temperatures are especially hot and dry. Mulch around trees, flower beds, gardens and shrubs can help homeowners get the most bang for their watering buck. That’s because mulch retains moisture, even when temperatures are especially hot. This helps foster stronger root growth and healthier landscapes that are less susceptible to disease and insect infestation.
* Get to know your lawn. Several variables combine to determine how much water a lawn needs. Understanding these variables helps homeowners understand how much to water their own lawns. Local climate is a variable to consider, as is whether or not a lawn was fertilized (experts typically recommend a lawn be fertilized several times, beginning in the spring and ending in October). Soil type and grass type also help to determine how much water a lawn needs, and homeowners who need to determine the type of soil and grass on their property can consult a local lawn care center or landscaping professional.
Proper watering can help a lawn survive the dog days of summer, and it’s up to homeowners to learn the right techniques.