To Water or Not To Water... That Is the Question
Here at Amazing Blades Landscaping, we want you to have a healthy, green, beautiful landscaped lawn. Knowing the general rules of soil moisture management can assure the outcome you're hoping for. The result of incorrect moisture management can be expensive and damaging to your turf and lawn, not to mention our environment. The fallout of over watering can cause nitrogen fertilizer and some soluble pesticides to enter down into our ground water and wash into storm drains and bayous.
Moisture Management & Your Lawn: Relationship Status... It's Complicated
What will give you the best results? We recommend irrigating to moisten the soil to a depth of 4 to 6 inches. But how do you know you've watered sufficiently? Try using a spaded wedge or soil sample tube to show you the wetting depth and don't water again until you see the beginning signs of moisture stress such as graying of turf or footprints that remain after walking. You may think that watering frequently and lightly is a good idea but it can foster a shallow root system and weak turf. In very dry climates where a lot of water is needed and soils are clay or compacted, apply water in several shorter cycles to avoid runoff and maximize absorption. This applies to sloped lawns as well. As we know from our drought stricken friends in California, outdoor water use averages 30% of all domestic water use nationwide. To reduce inefficient water use, Amazing Blades recommends that you set and properly maintain automatic irrigation systems. Don't forget to check that sprinkler heads are functioning well, that pipes are not leaking and that timers are set correctly. To avoid water waste, try to set heads to avoid spraying any walks or hardscape and use sprinklers that provide even coverage.
Do You Know How Much Water The Lawn Needs? Think Again...
When should you water? The best time is in the morning. Watering all night long can cause disease and watering during midday causes extra loss from evaporation. We also need to be aware of what may happen during drought conditions. Grass will stop growing and may enter a dormant state; you'll notice browning of foliage and a resting state of growing points. While brown turf caused by drought is not all that desirable, amazingly your turf can usually survive without irrigation. In general, 1 or 2 inches of water are needed per week in times of drought to keep turf-grasses actively growing.
Also, ask us about a new product that has been developed: weather-based irrigation controllers. They can be used in place of clock timers. These controllers use real-time or historic weather information to adjust irrigation automatically by plant type and can also be used with moisture sensors. Most importantly, they can reduce your water usage up to 30%. To learn more about water use efficiency, visit the EPA's website.