More Lawn Watering Tips
Watering is an important aspect of good plant and lawn maintenance. Most home landscapes and lawns are not growing in a "natural" state. They are growing in an artificial environment and need to be supplemented with nutrients and water, as well as other cultural practices, to maintain good conditions for growing grass.
Watering is one of the more misunderstood practices. In general, turf or ornamental plants do not need an abundance of supplemental water if the other cultural practices of mowing, mulching and lawn fertilizing are followed.
Too much water can waterlog soils and deprive the plants of oxygen. Improper watering can lead to lawn disease development, and also make weed control difficult. There are a few general rules that apply to any watering situation.
Rule #1: Find out how much water is required for your grass, plants or other landscape elements - and don't overwater them.
Learning how to control your automatic sprinkler system and how much water is required for grass (read more in our original watering article) is critical to a responsible, healthy watering plan. As you're developing a watering plan, remember:
- Light, frequent water encourages a shallow root system. The goal is to wet the soil to a depth of 6”. For proper grass care, this generally means leaving a sprinkler in one location for at least one hour, depending upon water pressure and the sprinkler style and output.
- Annual plants and vegetables need extra water during their early growth period. This is especially true of transplants. Once established, these plants need water when they begin to show signs of wilting.
- For perennial or woody ornamental plants, it is usually a feast or famine situation. The goal is the same, though. Wetting the soil to a depth of 6” is generally adequate for these types of plants.
- The use of mulch is an excellent way to retard water losses from the soil.
- Large, established trees and shrubs usually do not require supplemental water, except during extreme drought conditions.
Rule #2: Do not water your lawn and plants at night.
The second rule of grass and lawn care is to avoid watering at night if possible. Lawn disease activity will increase if there is available moisture on the leaf or stem surface when it gets dark. If it is cool, dark, and moist, then grass diseases will develop on the plant. Allow enough time for the plants to dry before evening sets in.
Watering during the heat of the day will not 'burn' plants. It is usually not the most efficient or convenient time of day to water, but it will not hurt the plants. This is especially true for turf grass care. Many people believe if you water your lawn during the heat of the day, the grass will burn. Grass grows upright, so water will roll off it. The only time there is a risk of this happening is when so much water is supplied that it puddles or pools on the lawn. This may scald the grass, but it is a rare occurrence.
Space and time do not allow for a complete list of all the watering recommendations for all the plant and grass growing conditions that exist. The best source for the proper watering amounts is your local Spring-Green professional lawn care service or your local county cooperative extension service. Find our nearest location to you today.
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