supplemental wateringFrom early spring to late fall, lawns require a certain amount of water to maintain vibrancy, health and thickness, and to prevent dormancy. Additionally, when using an organic fertilizer program such as Clean Air Lawn Care Boise’s, attending to the right amount of water is important to complement the program. In this post we go over key watering tips and what to consider to decide on the right balance for your lawn.

Rainfall in the spring can often mean that watering becomes unnecessary. However, if there are long lulls in between showers, or if the rainfall is minimal or insufficient, additional watering can promote better results in your lawn from turf density, the health of the lawn, and weed control.

Some lawns may enter dormancy from lack of water, even in the spring.

Keeping turf lush and full benefits your lawn’s weed control. Up to 70% of weed control can be accomplished by maintaining a thick, full lawn. The grass will crowd out weeds and prevent the space for them to spread and thrive. And as the lawn thickens and crowds out those weeds, there will be less herbicides needed in the lawn, further reducing the need for chemicals to be used. A dormant lawn may allow more weeds to occur and proper moisture is key to avoiding this.

Ample Rainfall vs. Supplemental Watering

While there is typically ample rainfall in the spring, being mindful of conditions and when to supplement with watering can lead to increased performance. Before watering, check the soil moisture and if dry in the top 1-2 inches, consider a soaking watering to supplement the rain.

Cool season turf like our fescue and Kentucky bluegrass requires around 1-1.5 inches of water per week.

When watering, there are some key practices to keep in mind:

  • Early Morning Watering: Water early in the morning to reduce evaporation and to help prevent lawn diseases caused by standing water on the blades at night.
  • Deep Watering: Water deeply but infrequently to encourage deep root growth. Shallow, frequent watering can lead to shallow roots, which makes the lawn less drought-resistant.
  • Check Soil Moisture: Before watering, check the soil moisture. A simple way to do this is to stick a screwdriver into the soil; it should penetrate easily if the soil has enough moisture. If it’s hard to push in, it’s time to water.
  • Adjust According to Weather: Always adjust your watering based on recent weather conditions. Reduce watering in periods of rain or cooler, cloudy weather. By adapting to local weather conditions and monitoring soil moisture, you can ensure your lawn receives the right amount of water without overdoing it.

But what if the lawn receives too much water?

Excessive rain or overwatering can lead to problems such as waterlogging, nutrient leaching, root rot and the growth of fungi or diseases.

  • First, stop watering. If you have an automated or time-regulated system, put it on pause until the lawn dries out.
  • Improve drainage. Regular aeration can help improve drainage as well as air flow to the roots. Adding organic material such as compost top-dressing can also enhance the soil structure and allow better drainage. And if need be, add a drainage system like a French drain or dry creek to direct water away from the lawn. In extreme situations, regrading the lawn may be necessary.
  • Look for signs of disease or stress. Yellowing blades, stunted growth or the presence of fungus may be signs of too much water. If needed, applying a fungicide can help prevent the spread of fungus and allow the turf to recover.
  • Regular mowing with proper technique. Mowing at the proper height for your turf will allow the roots to grow deep and more resilient. Tall grass can help roots grow deeper and stronger, which in turn helps them cope with both excess water and dry conditions.

Deciding on a Balance for Your Lawn

Ultimately the decision to water is up to each homeowner. Clean Air Lawn Care will not require this practice of any client. However, better turf performance for a healthier and more robust lawn does come with some watering when needed, even in the spring.

 

Author

Clean Air Lawn Care HQ’s blog is written by Craig Martin, one of Clean Air’s many franchise owners. Prior to becoming an owner, Craig spent more than 15 years as a sports writer for multiple newspapers, and he reported on prep, NCAA and professional sports. Each week he will be sharing thoughts, ideas and industry insights on how Clean Air Lawn Care helps foster an organic and sustainable lawn for you and your family to enjoy.