When you love your home, you want it to look great inside and out. Even during dry summer months that can pose major lawn care challenges, many home owners still want plush green lawns to enjoy with family and friends. Watering your lawn is the most basic way to nourish your lawn, so let’s take a look at our favorite lawn watering tips.
Lawn Watering ClockTip #1 – Water your lawn in the morning, between 4am and 10am.
With cooler temperatures and less wind in the early morning hours, you are able to maximize the water being dispersed on your lawn. The grass and soil can also absorb the water droplets better at this time, which provides longer-lasting nourishment that can be stored as warmer weather begins to set in throughout the day. In contrast, watering your lawn in the evening or at night can actually cause unwanted fungus issues. Many experts say that if you can’t water your lawn during the early morning hours, it might actually be best to not water the lawn at all!
Tip #2 – Budget for an irrigation system when building a new home.
As you invest in a new home, it can be tempting to decide against the extra $2,000-$5,000 an irrigation system adds to your bottom line. The convenience of an irrigation system may not be for every new home construction in Des Moines, but we’ve found irrigation systems can be a lifesaver in many cases. Implementing an irrigation system before sod is installed, makes the overall process and initial watering period substantially more efficient. If you’re still conflicted, give us a shout and we’ll brainstorm with you, but in short, imagine yourself manually lugging wet hoses and sprinklers around your yard all the time, versus sipping on a cold beverage while the lawn efficiently waters itself. We think that makes the decision easy.
Healthy Grass Root SystemTip #3 – Optimize the water you need to properly soak the soil.
If you take the time to understand your lawn’s soil, you can ensure the correct amount of water is being applied. When you water your lawn, the water should soak 6-10 inches into the soil. This is the average length of a healthy root system, so allowing the water to penetrate the entire root zone will maximize each watering. To determine the length of your lawn’s root system, simple dig a small/deep hole, measure the roots, and then replace the soil. As you water the lawn, revisit the hole and look to see how the soil is absorbing water. This will determine how the entire yard should be properly soaked. For harder ground, consider watering for 30 minutes, wait 10 minutes, and water it for another 30 minutes. This will ensure deep penetration and avoid runoff. Along efficient lawn watering, you’ll better understand how to treat the soil with other lawn care products.
Tip #4 – Do not over water.
If you have brand new sod, you absolutely want to drench it until it settles into place. That said, a misconception about watering established lawns, is that more is always better. You should always consider the current weather conditions, but if you have an established lawn, you should try to deeply water only 2-3 times a week. Over watering can cause a variety of unwanted issues. Along with spending more money on your water bill, over watering a lawn can lead to shallow root systems, an increase in fungus throughout your lawn, and even wasted runoff. We promise, cement does not need watering, so go ahead and conserve water, save some cash, and help the planet by deeply watering your grass only when it really needs it. The best part about not over watering your lawn? It encourages root systems to reach a healthy depth within the soil, which will lead to better looking lawn that is easier to maintain overall.
Tip #5 – Go all-in or fold your hand.
Dormant GrassSorry for the poker reference here, but when we talk about watering a lawn (and assuming it’s not brand new sod!), you do have a choice. Once your lawn is properly settled, which can take 1-3 years for new sod, if you prefer to let your lawn go dormant in the hot summer months, the grass will be just fine. Grass is very resilient, so like we see after a long winter, your lawn will naturally spring back to life after a few rainfalls. One important note here is that you need to go one way or another. Go all-in or fold your hand, because letting grass go dormant, watering it a few times, then letting it go dormant again will apply unwanted stress to your lawn.
We hope this collection of lawn watering tips will help you achieve the outdoor experience you want at your home.
An old joke here at Drake Homes is that “we look good on your lawn”, so we wish you the best as you work to effectively (and efficiently) maintain a lawn that matches the quality of your home.