The National Association of Landscape Professionals did a survey recently to see how much Americans know about maintaining lawns. It found that 74 percent felt they knew how to take care of a lawn, yet one-third of those replying admitted they weren’t sure about how often or how deep a lawn should be watered. Proper irrigation is critical to having a healthy, lush lawn. Here is your guide to proper watering:
- Most lawns in Florida need a 1/2” to 3/4” of water per application. Water too much or too little and you can damage or kill your grass. You can get a rough estimate of how well the sprinklers in your irrigation system work by setting empty tuna or cat food cans (which are approximately 1” deep) where the sprinklers hit. Run the sprinklers until the cans are half full to determine how long it will take to apply a half inch of water. With our Florida rains, you may only need to irrigate once or twice a week for much of the year.
- Water deep, not often. The goal is to set deep roots to create hardy, healthy grass. Shallow roots dry out faster and are more susceptible to disease and insect damage. Instead of a little every day, water deeply a few times a week. A handy tip: If you can push a 6” screwdriver into the soil easily, you are watering deep enough.
- Water when it works best. Very early mornings are usually cooler and less windy, so there is less evaporation and the moisture can soak into the ground. It will take less time and you’ll save on your water bill. Regular nighttime watering is not a good idea because with no evaporation from the sun, excessive dampness can lead to fungal and bacterial diseases that harm your lawn. Many areas of Florida don’t allow watering during the heat of the day, when 60 percent or more of the water can be lost to evaporation.
- Regularly inspect your irrigation system. Some areas of your yard may have more runoff, or there may be compaction issues in some areas of the lawn. You might try watering these areas twice in a cycle, but for a short duration each time to allow the moisture to soak in. Promptly replace broken or malfunctioning sprinkler heads to avoid damage to your lawn and to save on water. Make sure your sprinklers are watering your grass and not the street!
If you are in the Hernando, Pasco, Pinellas and Citrus counties area and have any questions about the proper watering of your lawn or need to install or repair your lawn watering system, contact Challenger Irrigation. Schedule an appointment with our specialists today to have your lawn hydrated properly.