Quick fact for you, the human body is composed of over 70% water… healthy grass contains even more water – from 75% to 85% of its weight. Interesting, huh? Water is extremely important for you lawn. Sunlight, temperature, wind, and humidity can all rob your grass of most of the water it needs. And that’s obviously bad. Water helps cool the grass, helps seeds germinate, and helps the grass absorb the nutrients it requires. Without water, the grass will wilt, brown, become susceptible to disease, allow weeds to take over, and eventually die of thirst. Since watering is so important to maintaining a healthy lawn, here are some tips to help guarantee its health and beauty.
When is the best time of day to water your lawn? Other than the fact that watering between 10am and 4pm isn’t allowed in Jacksonville, it’s a bad time of day to water the lawn anyway. Not because it will ‘burn’ the grass (that’s a misconception), but because you want to avoid water loss due to evaporation from the sun. Also, for most of the year, you want to avoid watering at night, because then you leave your grass open for disease. The best time to water your yard is early in the morning. This prevents evaporation and allows the lawn to soak up the most water. The exception to this rule is during extremely hot temperatures (when the nighttime temp doesn’t drop below 70 degrees). Then it’s fine to water late in the afternoon or early evening.
How much water does your lawn need? Your lawn usually needs 1 to 1.5 inches of water each week – including rainfall. Water your lawn deeply and infrequently. This encourages deep root systems for strong and healthy grass. Frequent, short bursts of water do not soak into the root zone; they evaporate before the grass can use them. So water early in the morning, and water well: Once a week in spring, fall, and winter and twice a week in summer (if temperatures reach well over 90, your lawn may even need more water, but never overwater if temps are below 90). Set a small cup within reach of the sprinkler and water until that cup has one inch of water in it (you can also use a tuna can and water until can is full or buy a rain gauge). If you do this weekly, your grass will be better able to withstand the heat and stress of the summer. While you don’t want to under-water your yard, also be sure not to over-water your lawn, it invites weeds, crab grass and insects.
Some additional watering tips:
- Aerate your grass to loosen compacted soil and allow water to get to the roots.
- For a newly sodded or seeded lawn, water more frequently for the first month until your lawn is well-established.
- Make sure that your watering equipment is working properly. Broken sprinklers and hoses waste a lot of water. Think about installing an automatic irrigation system, since these require less water. If you’re using sprinklers, set it to water only your lawn and not the pavement, driveway, or sidewalks.
And keep in mind the new watering restrictions. Odd numbered addresses – water on Wednesday and Saturday. Even numbered addresses – water on Thursday and Sunday.
As always, feel free to contact us if you’re interested in lawn care and maintenance. Happy Watering!