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The Best Grass-Watering Tips for a Quality, Green LawnApril 5th, 2012 by
Almost every homeowner dreams of having a beautiful, lush lawn. A well-maintained lawn is not only aesthetically pleasing to the eye, but it also is an asset to your neighborhood because it adds curb appeal.
While it’s no secret that a green lawn comes from an established relationship between proper lawn care and water application, most homeowners understand that watering is perhaps the most important element in achieving this.
Listed below are some great grass-watering tips that should keep your lawn flourishing and healthy year-round.
Know Thy Grass
First, it’s important to understand the watering needs for the type of grass you have. Different types of grass require different amounts of water in order to flourish.
For example, Kentucky bluegrass has the propensity to turn brown and go dormant during the summer months if not watered on a consistent basis, while Bermuda grass requires less water to maintain a healthy green color.
Warm-season grasses such as zoysia are able to stay healthy during drought conditions and therefore require less attention. Because grasses differ in their watering needs, it’s always best to consult your local home service provider for specific information on the type of grass you have.
How Much Water?
Unfortunately, no rules exist on specific amounts of water to apply so your grass will stay green. There are numerous variables that affect the amount of water that is needed to keep your lawn growing and healthy. Some of these variables include:
- Climatic conditions
- Soil type
- Grass type
- How the lawn is being mowed
- Whether or not the lawn was fertilized
Generally, most turf grasses require between three-fourths to one inch of water per week to maintain their green color and active growth. Keep in mind that any type of grass grown in the southern regions of the U.S. will need more frequent watering due to high heat and humidity.
Watering Recommendations for Popular Grass Types
Since this type of grass is not drought tolerant, it requires a steady amount of water in order to remain healthy. As much as two inches of water per week is recommended to keep Kentucky bluegrass green and growing during the summer months.
If possible, this amount of water should be applied over one or two days to effectively penetrate the root system.
This type of grass is drought tolerant and can even go for extended periods of time without water, which is why this type of grass is more popular in warmer climates.
Although Bermuda grass is able to stay relatively healthy during extended periods of drought, homeowners should not refrain from watering it. Ideally, Bermuda grass should have approximately one inch of water per week in order to maintain its health and vibrant green color.
During the summer months, fescue grass needs approximately one inch of water each week. If summer temperatures are extremely high, applying one-and-a-half inches of water per week is ideal.
It’s best not to give your fescue grass extra water unless you notice signs that the grass needs it. Some common signs that may indicate fescue grass needs additional watering are wilting or curling grass blades.
This type of grass is relatively drought tolerant, and a fully established zoysia lawn can withstand long periods of little irrigation. However, try to water your zoysia lawn approximately one inch per week to promote healthy growth, especially during the summer months.
Additional Grass-Watering Tips
- Use a rain gauge to help determine how much water you have applied each week.
- It’s better to soak your lawn once or twice each week than to engage in daily watering. Soaking your lawn promotes a deep root system, which will help keep your lawn healthy.
- Allow a few days between watering; this permits the turf to dry, which allows the roots time to drive further into the soil in search of water. The end result will be a stronger, healthier root system.
- Keep an eye on the weather. If it’s going to rain, hold off on watering your lawn and use a rain gauge to monitor the amount of rainfall.
When to Water Grass
The best way to determine whether your lawn needs to be watered is to simply look at it. Common questions to ask when deciding if your lawn needs water include the following:
- Does the grass have a bluish-gray tint?
- Are the leaf blades curling or wilting?
- If you walk on your grass, can you clearly see your footprints?
Missing a week or two of watering does not mean that your grass is going to die. In fact, most grasses are able to stay relatively healthy without any water for a substantial amount of time:
- Zoysia—up to four weeks
- Bermuda grass—up to eight weeks
- Tall fescue—up to four weeks
Watering your lawn before the sun comes up, between the hours of 4 a.m. and 8 a.m., is best as it gives your lawn sufficient time to dry out before nightfall. Watering during the afternoon is not recommended due to the high amount of evaporation, and watering in the evening will only increase the potential for lawn disease and funguses.
Overwatering Your Lawn
Overwatering your lawn is bad not only for your lawn’s health but also for your pocketbook. Overwatering your lawn can lead to the development of various types of lawn diseases, funguses, and weeds, and it will attract unwanted insects.
As you can see, watering your grass can be more complicated than you might have originally imagined. However, following these simple grass watering tips should help you achieve that beautiful, lush lawn that every homeowner wishes for.