How to Water in the Spring and Summer Months
Nurture your grass and yard without wasting water or overwatering
Water is an essential part of growing and maintaining a happy and healthy lawn and yard. However, too much water or watering at the wrong time of day can have the opposite effect.
Droughts in California and other parts of the United States and the world illustrate just how scarce water has become. While we are not yet in crisis mode, water conservation is top of mind in many communities. Timing your watering properly can help avoid waste.
Watering your lawn and plants can be tricky. Overwatering can cause the same amount of harm as underwatering.
There is a fine line to walk when it comes to providing your grass with the proper amount of water. With a bit of guidance, your lawn will be green and healthy, just in time for the outdoor season.
Keep reading to learn the best way to water in spring and summer.
You don’t want to begin watering too early in spring.
Wait until your grass shows signs of wilting. This might not happen until late spring or even early summer.
If you water too early in the spring, you are encouraging shallow root growth, meaning your grass will not be able to withstand the heat or drought of summer. Shallow root growth may also result in a brown and dry lawn throughout the picnic and patio season.
How Often Should You Water in the Spring?
April showers bring May flowers, right? When spring comes around, you need to start thinking about getting your lawn ready for summer. When watering your lawn in spring, your goal is to promote deep root growth. To do this:
- Water it deeply
- About one inch per week is usually enough
- Let the grass wilt slightly again before resuming watering.
Avoid watering your lawn on in the middle of hot summer days. Water evaporates too quickly to have many beneficial effects on your lawn as it will not reach the grasses root system.
Here’s what you should do to keep your lawn healthy in the summer months:
- Water in the morning: The best time to water your lawn in the summer is early in the morning, when the day’s heat has not hit yet. Before 9 am is the optimal watering time for your lawn in the summer months. The weather in the morning should be cool enough so that the water can get to the nutrients in the soil.
- Wind is also a factor: Calmer morning conditions mean that wind will not blow away the much-needed water and nutrients.
- Nighttime is not ideal: While nighttime also provides cool and fair conditions, there is a risk that evening watering will attract pests and disease. The best plan is to stick to the morning.
How Often Should You Water in the Summer?
Between natural rainfall and irrigation, your lawn will need 1.5 to 2 inches of water every week during the summer months. That means you will need to water your lawn deeply every other day. Deep, frequent watering will ensure your grassroots get the water they need to withstand the heat of the summer.
Some people might try to water less every day, rather than more every two days. Do not water your grass every day, as this will lead to overwatering over time.
How to Measure How Much You’re Watering
So now you know your lawn needs 1.5 inches of water per week. But how will you know how much water that actually is?
First, you need to know about the types of sprinklers and their patterns to determine how much water is being distributed around your lawn. Here are the basic sprinkler types:
- Oscillating Sprinklers: These water a rectangular area of your lawn in a fan motion
- Stationary Sprinklers: Used for watering small patches of grass
- Rotary and Impact Sprinklers: Used for medium-to-large lawns in a circular pattern
Whichever type of sprinkler you use, you will need to know how much and how often to water your lawn.
Your lawn should be getting about ⅓ to ⅔ of an inch of water every two days to achieve the optimal 1.5 to 2 inches of water per week.
Here is a simple method for gauging how much water you give your lawn:
- Find an empty tuna can and place it in one of your sprinkler patterns.
- Measure out about ⅓ of an inch in the tuna can (remember that you need to water your lawn ⅓ to ⅔ of an inch per week).
- Run your sprinkler system until the water level in the tuna can reaches the desired mark.
- Note the amount of time that has passed. This is now your base time for watering your lawn every two days to ensure you don’t over or underwater.
- Move the can and repeat this process to ensure the water is spread evenly around the rest of the lawn.
If the tuna can collects the same amount of water throughout the trials, your watering system distributes water evenly throughout your lawn. If not, you will need to adjust your sprinkler system to ensure complete coverage.
Watch out for runoffs around the edges of your lawn. This is a sign that water is not being absorbed, and you are overwatering.
What Overwatered and Underwatered Lawns Look Like
If your lawn is receiving too much or too little water, you need to know about it, so you can adjust your watering schedule accordingly.
Signs of an Overwatered Lawn
A lawn that gets too much water can become more damaged than an underwatered lawn. Overwatering blocks nutrients from reaching your lawn’s root system.
Below are signs you are overwatering your lawn:
- Weeds, crabgrass and fungi
- Puddles form when you water your lawn
- Root decomposition on the surface of your grass
Signs of an Underwatered Lawn
A lawn that is not getting enough water will also show signs of deterioration, including:
- Dry, yellow patches
- Dry, gravelly soil
- A type of fungus called Ascochyta Leaf Blight (a long, yellow, brittle grass)
If you notice signs of an over or underwatered lawn, adjust your watering schedule. You can also try fertilizer or weed killer.
Within a few weeks, your lawn should be right as rain. If not, you should call a lawn care company that specializes in getting lawns back to their prime, such as Turf Managers.
Getting your lawn the perfect shade of green isn’t easy, but it’s possible.
Both too much and too little water can have disastrous effects on the look and health of your lawn.
Knowing when and how much to water your lawn is essential for proper lawn maintenance. Nashville summers are scorching, and rain can be at a premium sometimes. To keep your lawn as healthy as possible, it’s vital to know when the best time of day is and how much to water it. If not, your lawn will turn yellow and brown, ruining your summer BBQ season.
If you’ve tried everything, to get your lawn green again but nothing has worked, it might be time to consult an expert. The professionals at Turf Managers can provide your lawn with the right balance of nutrients to get it back on track.
Learn more about what Turf Managers can do for your lawn by clicking the link below.