Summertime has arrived and with it the onset of hot, summer days. It's time to put our lawn sprinklers and irrigation systems to work! This begs the questions.... When do I water? How much do I water? What if I don't water? Let's review the answers below:
When is the best time to water my lawn?
MORNING!! (Approximately 5-9 a.m.) Morning is the best time to water for maximum benefit. The soil will become nicely saturated with morning watering, but the turf blade will be allowed to dry more quickly, helping to prevent lawn disease. Watering in the evening is not recommended as it will keep the grass blade wet overnight, causing a major breeding ground for fungi.
How much water should I apply?
Water deeply and infrequently, with the goal of adding 1-inch of water to the lawn at each session. This should be done 3-4 times/week, more if we are in drought conditions. Water pressure and irrigation heads may alter water output, so set out a shallow bucket (or a tuna can works great for this!) while watering the first few times and allow an inch of water to collect. Note the time the sprinkler/irrigation was running in order to accumulate the inch of water and then you will know for a certainty how long to let your sprinklers/irrigation system run at each session.
What will happen if I decide not to water my lawn and my area is in a drought?
If we experience drought conditions and you choose not to irrigate, the turf will go dormant to protect the root system of the plant. The grass will green right back up with adequate water following a mild to moderate drought BUT if our area experiences an extended drought, some areas of the turf may be thinned or even completely die off if the lawn does not receive water. If this occurs, plan to seed (and water!) in the fall.
Remember, a few extra dollars spent on watering your lawn to keep it healthy in the summer is much more cost effective then trying to seed and a water a brand-new lawn in the fall!!