Every summer millions of homeowners start asking questions about watering their lawn. After all everyone wants to have a nice lush lawn, while saving on their water bill or keeping it to a minimum.
Local Government Lawn Watering Restrictions
Before watering your lawn check with the authorities about any lawn watering restrictions that are imposed by local ordnance. Some cities post this type information on their website.
My schedule for watering my lawn is Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays, because I have an even-numbered home address. I can water any time but the city request that we schedule lawn watering before 10am or after 7pm.
Types of Lawn Watering Devices
I use three different kinds of devices or sprinklers.
One is the soaker hose that I use exclusively for my border gardens and small narrow patches of lawn. I have one of these next to my driveway.
Another type sprinkler is the fan sprinkler. Make sure you have one that can be set to full, center, right or left fan. I use this sprinkler to do large square, spans of grass that can’t be used with my last devise the rain bird sprinkler.
The rain bird sprinkler sprinkles in a circle. It can be adjusted to do a small slice or a half or quarter circle.
The idea is to water only the grass and not a street, sidewalk or driveway and waste this valuable resource.
Time of Day to Water a Lawn
It is best in the summer to water your lawn in the morning. As it has time to soak into the soil, before the hot part of the day, which evaporates a good portion of the water from your sprinklers rather then feed your grass.
Sprinkling in the evening is a bad idea as the water sits on the leaves of your grass and helps to create mold and germinate fungus of all types, which will harm your grass.
Where to Water the Lawn
Most homeowners tend to want to water the grass that is wilting first, but this tends to over water because of overlapping of the footprint of the sprinklers in order to sprinkle the whole yard.
Start at a logical lawn ending point and move every 20 minutes to keep the overlap down, while maintaining a good spray of water on the whole lawn.How Often Should the Lawn Be Watered
How often you water the lawn is dictated by rain fall.
There is no reason to water your lawn within 2 days of a good rain of half an inch or more.
When experiencing a lack of rain check your lawn for withering. Water enough to bring it back to life.
Don’t give up if you fail to water your lawn often and it turns brown as this doesn’t necessarily mean its dead. It means the roots are resting and a good shower or watering can and will bring it back to that green color it gets when its well watered.
If you have a new or replanted lawn you should water it daily for around 15- 30 days depending on the type of grass and the prevailing climate. You may need to show an invoice to the city to purchase a watering exemption to avoid a penalty. Again I urge you to check with the authorities first.
Preparing the Lawn to Maintain a Moist Base
In the south we spread a thick layer of peat moss in the spring over the lawn. Then we lightly rake it in. This helps to maintain water and keep the soil rich and moist.
Prepare the Lawn with a Grass for the Long Term
Make sure you use a perennial grass that will continue to grow and be healthy year after year such as blue grass or red-fescue grass. As the grass gets older the roots get deeper and are more resilient to drought.
Mow the Lawn with a Sharp Blade
What does this have to do with watering the lawn? Well, cutting the grass reduces the area of the leaf blade. This in turn reduces photosynthesis and the plants ability to soak up water keeping the plant healthy and the roots growing. Using a dull mower blade tears the grass and reduces further its ability to soak up water.
Don’t Water the Grass During a Drought
This may seem backwards, but if you don’t have enough water to maintain a lawn you are better to let it go dormant and not water it at all.
Use of Well and Pond Water
If you live close to a pond or live in an area with a low water table, such as Florida, take advantage of the cheap water supply by buying a pump to run your yard irrigation. It is a great source of in-expensive lawn water.
This should get you started on the road to lush green grass such as you see in pictures and magazines.