Lawn Irrigation Tips for Summer and Fall

A beautiful lawn makes a huge difference in the look of your property overall. You can increase curb appeal with a manicured lawn. A lawn that is well-watered also keeps your grass and plants healthy and beautiful.

When it comes to keeping your yard properly irrigated, consider the seasons to determine how much water your grass needs. The soil’s moisture content varies during the year and could affect your watering schedule. Here are some tips for irrigating your lawn in summer and fall that work well for a variety of grasses, trees, and flowers.

Water the Lawn in the Morning

The beginning of the day is best for watering your lawn. During the morning hours, the air is cooler and there isn’t much wind to blow the water off the blades of grass. Since the sun is shining brightly in the middle of the day, water on the lawn will evaporate quicker. If you wait until the evening to water the lawn, the water will stick to the blades of grass overnight. This can lead to rot and other types of plant diseases. If too much water is on the soil during the evening hours, this provides an environment for fungus to grow, which can ruin the lawn. If you can’t water your lawn first thing in the morning on weekdays, try morning watering on the weekends. Give your lawn a thorough watering before 10 a.m. for best results. The closer it gets to noontime, the brighter the sun will be.

Use Pulsating Sprinklers

When it comes to watering the lawn, built-in sprinklers are usually best. The system is efficient and will ensure your grass is watered evenly. Built-in sprinklers are a worthwhile investment, since you’ll likely get your money’s worth with just a few uses. If you don’t want built-in sprinklers, a pulsating sprinkler is the next best thing. The sprinkler rotates and is designed to be connected to a garden hose. Pulsating sprinklers shoot out water horizontally at a very high speed. This makes the water less susceptible to evaporation and wind. A pulsating sprinkler ensures the entire lawn is properly watered without being over-saturated with moisture.

If the grass in your yard is fairly new, it may be best to use an oscillating sprinkler. Oscillating irrigation systems are best for the lawn until your grass fully takes root. Pulsating sprinklers have a strong water stream that will wash new grass seeds away.

Penetrate the Soil

Water your lawn long enough to ensure the soil is moistened at least six inches deep. This is the depth of a grass root system that is healthy and thriving. If you’re not sure how far down the water is seeping, check the soil about every fifteen minutes during your first watering. Dig a shovel into the lawn and lift it to see the sod. Set a timer before you start watering your lawn. This will let you know how long it takes for the water to get to the six-inch level. Timing your watering process will also let you know how long it will take to properly care for your specific grass and soil type.

Don’t Water More Than Twice a Week

If your soil is sandy, watering every three days or so is best. For clay soil, it’s ideal to irrigate the lawn once a week. While you may be tempted to water the lawn the way you water the plants (about 15 minutes a day), this can lead to over-watering. When there is too much moisture in the soil and on the grass, mold and diseases can develop. Excess water can also lead to a shallow root system. When you water your lawn less often, the roots will grow deeper.

When Watering, Following the “All or Nothing” Technique

If you don’t want to water your lawn, you can allow it to go dormant, the way it does in winter. Your grass won’t be damaged as long as the drought period is no longer than a month. However, be consistent with the dormant method. Watering, letting the grass go dormant, and then watering again puts too much stress on the lawn. Usually, if the lawn has been dormant, the grass will be revived after a good rain.

Purchase a Timer

If you’re paying attention to the time you water your plants, there’s a good chance you’ll lose track of time and start on another task. This is why getting a timer is important. You can find them at most discount supermarket and home goods stores. If you buy a timer that is attached to the sprinklers, the water will automatically shut off at the right time. This ensures the lawn gets just the right amount of water. You’ll also be less stressed about watering the grass, since you won’t have to worry about forgetting to turn the water off.

Allow for Soaking

If you have a home in a subdivision where the topsoil was removed, your soil is likely very hard. This prevents the water from completely sinking in. If this is the case for your lawn, you should water the grass in phases. This makes the soil softer and allows the water to reach the roots of the grass. Water the lawn for about half an hour and allow the water to soak in. Then water for another half an hour. If you try to water the entire lawn at one time, moisture will run off and the soil won’t be penetrated.

A soaker-hose system also works well for evenly watering your lawn. Soaker-hose systems also use a timer and main hose with smaller branches attached to the hose. The smaller hoses have small openings called weeping pores. This allows the water to come out along the length of the pore and penetrate the soil. The branches on the hose are positioned around the root systems and base of plants. Be sure to do this before you turn the water on. The soaker-hose system allows the water to soak into the soil gently and at a slower pace.

Watering Flower Beds and Shrubs

It’s a good idea to use something other than traditional sprinklers for shrubs and flower beds. You can use a dripper system for effective watering. A dripper system uses a hose connected to a timer and faucet. Small openings are placed at several spots along the hose. There are also tiny adapters placed in the holes so that branches about 1/4 inch can be installed in the hose. Water emitters in several sizes are also attached to the smaller branches of the dripper system. You can even use water emitters like tiny spray heads for watering your plants. Place these devices behind shrubs and feature plants to make sure just enough water is delivered regularly.

Talking to a lawn professional can help you keep your yard looking its best. The Cortada Landscape team can provide you with the services and tools to properly water your lawn and keep your grass and plants at their healthiest.

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