As the summer heat becomes unbearable, you may start to notice that lush green lawn fading to a dull brown and that springy, soft grass turning hard and pokey. No one enjoys having an imperfect lawn, but watering it constantly in the summer heat can prove to be costly, time consuming, and a waste of precious water. Lucky for the lawn lovers out there who want to conserve water, there are many ways to cut back on your watering without sacrificing that beautifully green lawn.
When to Water
A simple factor like the time of day can make a major difference in the amount you need to water and the successfulness of each watering. The ideal time for a majority of lawns is early in the morning. This is because the wind is generally calmer and it has all day to air out and dry. If you water at night, you run the risk of creating mildew and fungus in your grass. In the afternoon, your water will be much less effective due to wind and evaporation from the midday heat.
How Much to Water
Watering your lawn everyday can cause undesirable effects and is a waste of water. Conversely, watering once a month is useless and will do your lawn no good. Instead, moderation is key; the general rule of thumb is to participate in deep, infrequent watering. This usually translates to about half an inch twice a week or one inch once a week. This watering should be deep enough to get into the root zone, but infrequent enough not to drown the grass.
If you don’t have the time or patience to hand water your lawn, but you still want that luscious look, chances are you will want sprinkler systems. Sprinklers can be a blessing and a curse when it comes to watering efficiently. Cheap, stationary sprinklers are often the most ineffective and the biggest waste of water, as they tend to over water one area of grass and severely underwater other parts. Your best bet would be to get an irrigation system. These systems can often be timer controlled and strategically placed, maximizing efficiency and potentially saving a decent amount of water. If an irrigation system isn’t an option for you, make sure to regularly inspect your system and ensure that each area of your lawn is getting properly watered.
Lawn Care to Reduce Watering
Not all watering tips specifically involve water. In fact, one way to cut back on the amount of water your lawn requires is by mowing at the right height. Try to mow grass at around two and a half to three inches, as taller grass helps shade the soil and retain water longer. You can also cut back on watering requirements by planting drought tolerant grass seed and/or sod, or reducing your lawn area by planting drought tolerant trees and plants.
Conserving water while also keeping your lawn looking nice is not always an easy thing to achieve. The best way to accomplish both is to pay close attention to what your lawn needs, rather than what is most convenient for you. With a little extra care and knowledge, you will be reducing your water consumption while still admiring a green lawn in no time.
Written by Mike West, owner of WestCo Grounds Maintenance. WestCo provides the best solutions for lawn care Jefferson City MO has to offer. They also specialize in irrigation and lawn sprinkler service.