Lawn Care Tips

As a lawn care provider for 20+ years, my aim here is to provide some helpful hints, tips and advice to those who want to increase the health and appearance of the lawn they care for. Whether you are new to lawn care or an old hand, you will find information here that will save you time, money and wasted effort. Thanks for stopping by.


Sunday, March 27, 2005

How Much Should You Water Your Lawn?

Most lawns will do just fine with about 1 inch of water a week. This amount will provide the type of watering needed to encourage the grass roots to grow deep. Oftentimes this amount will be provided by rainfall, especially in the Springtime. So if a week has gone by since you have watered and there has been no rain, watering your lawn is in order. And if there is no rain in the forecast for the next few days, I suggest watering your lawn thoroughly so that it receives approximately 1 inch of water.

One of the easiest ways to know when you have applied an inch worth of water is, before you start watering, to place tuna cans or similar containers inside the area to be watered. When these containers are holding an inch of water, your lawn should have received enough to last it another week.

There are times when you can water your lawn and deliberately put less than one inch of water down. One situation would be that it rained several days ago but only half an inch. In this case you could make up the difference by giving it only another half an inch of water. Another situation where you might want to water but not to a full inch is where the soil is not particularly dry and the weatherman’s forecast is for heavy rain within the next few days. The type of watering I have been discussing here is considered “deep watering”, and this type of watering can keep the soil and the roots of the turf moist for several days.

There is a second type of watering that serves an entirely different purpose. This type is referred to as “syringing”. With syringing it is not the amount of water that you put down that is important, but rather the timing of that watering. The purpose of syringing is to cool down and refresh heat and sun-stressed turf during mid-afternoon. An analogy here is a person baking on a sunny beach and spraying themselves with a mister of cool water. The technique of syringing your lawn involves applying water in a fine spray to the surface of the turf only. If you use an irrigation system to water your lawn, syringing can be accomplished by simply turning on each zone for just a few minutes. If, on the other hand, you manually water your lawn, the nozzle on the end of your hose should be adjusted to a spray while you quickly cover just the top of the blades of grass.

As I have mentioned before, there is an old wives tale that states, “You should not water your lawn on a hot sunny day because you will burn it.” And I will say again, this is bunk. The fact of the matter is, a lawn that is sprayed with the syringing method can - and will - take in that water through the surface blades of grass, and this will go a long way toward helping your turf survive extreme heat and sun-stress.

NEXT TIME: Selective vs. Non-Selective Herbicides


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