The What and Why of Watering
THE SOURCE OF LIFE
Proper watering is key for a great lawn. Without sufficient water, your lawn will look and feel dry and rough, weeds (which don’t require as much water) will creep in, and your grass could die.You need to get water, as well as nutrients and air, 6-8” deep into the soil for healthy, strong roots. But, careful, too much water will drown the roots by cutting off oxygen. Healthy roots lead to healthy, upright blades that are better able to absorb sunlight energy for food for the grass, and as roots grow deeper, you don’t need to water as frequently.
SO, HOW MUCH AND HOW OFTEN?
Generally, your grass wants 1-2” of water per week, but how often and how much water you should give your lawn depends on your soil conditions, climate, grass type and length, fertilizer use, and trees.
The type of soil you have determines how water is absorbed and retained.
Sandy: large particles allow water to penetrate deep, but since sand doesn’t retain water, more frequent watering is required because the soil dries out quickly. .5” of water over 30 minutes.
Clay: tiny, tightly compacted particles block water penetration but retain moisture when wet. You can water less frequently but with more water applied slowly to allow time for the water to penetrate deeply. 1 - 1.3” of water over 5 hours.
Loam: best soil with various particle sizes that allow deeper water penetration and good moisture retention. 1” of water over 2 hours.
If you have alkaline soil and hard water like the majority of the US, you likely have a hardened barrier of mineral salts that block water, air, and nutrients from penetrating deep and that raise the soil pH above the desired 5.5 - 6.5 range. Use exiGrow to break up this mineral barrier, release the essential minerals for plant consumption, and optimize soil pH. For clay and sandy soils, consider also adding Humic Organic Pellets to increase organic content and absorption and retention.
The hotter the weather, the more thirsty your grass gets - just like you - so plan to water more frequently.
Grass Type & Length
Some grass types (looking at you, Kentucky) are more thirsty and high maintenance than others, and the longer the grass, the less water required.
This fertilizer is making me thirsty--the more you fertilize, the more you need to water.
If you have large, old trees with extensive root systems, you may need to water more since the trees will hog most of the water. In addition, trees may interfere with the grass beneath them from getting enough sunlight, which results in thin, patchy, dull lawn. Some grass types are more shade resistant (require less sunlight) such as Zoysia.
How to Know How Much Water You're Using?
Place cups or cans at various spots in your yard during a 10-15 minute sprinkler cycle and then measure the water depth using a standard ruler or tape measure (note that the amount in each can may vary a bit). Now you know how long you need to run your sprinklers to achieve the desired volume of water. If you can't easily push a screwdriver 6" deep, you're not watering enough.
GOOD FOR EARTH. GOOD FOR EARTHLINGS.
- Consider sprinklers as a supplement to rainfall.
- Avoid runoff.
- Water in short intervals to allow the water to be absorbed rather than running down the gutter.
- Water in the morning when it’s cooler and more humid to avoid evaporation (don’t water at night to avoid diseases).
- Fertilize less.
- Keep grass length longer.
- Allow your lawn to partially dry out between waterings.
- Increase soil absorption using exiGrow naturally-powerful soil repair and Humic Organic Pellets.