Houses with lush, green lawns prove to be a sight for sore eyes. While it looks all clean and green, it is not an easy job for a homeowner to master the art of the green thumb. Especially during summer when the hot and dry weather turns the green carpet to the one with brown patches.
While maintaining a beautiful lawn is not rocket science, you do need to get your basics right. Read more for everything you need to know about keeping those grass roots hydrated throughout the day.
Let’s dig in-
Bright mornings for brighter lawns
Simply follow “the earlier the better” rule for this one. The perfect time happens to be early in the morning before 10 am. The temperatures are lower and calm breezes ensure least evaporation. So, the water gets soaked into the soil and absorbed by the grass roots in a more effective manner.
But if it is not possible, it is not the end of your dream. The next best time can be late afternoon somewhere between 4pm-6pm. Again, the winds are calmer during this time and the absorption level is good enough.
You must absolutely avoid keeping the lawn wet overnight as it might become susceptible to fungal growth. Often fungi will kill the grass and no amount of water can help you then.
Using the right amount
Yes, it is very important to know how much water to use. Going by the typical recommendations, the water should be able to reach 6 to 8 inches of soil. This is the area where most of the turfgrass roots grow and gather their nutrients from soil and water.
The lawns can be watered 1 to 1.5 inches every week to ensure that the soil is soaked deeply. You can either water the lawn once a week or divide it into two watering during the week as per your convenience. Just make sure not to go overboard.
Keeping a check on time
Just using the right amount of water is not enough; you need to keep a check on time as well so that you do not end up overwatering. This can be done with a few methods.
To begin with, checking how long water takes to soak the soil. Most commonly used technique for this is the screwdriver test. During the first watering, use a screwdriver every 15 minutes to check how deep the water has gone.
As soon as it reaches 6 inches into the soil, your job is done. Do not forget to keep track of the time from when you started, to when it reached 6 inches because the same amount of time will be required for every watering session in future.
Calculating water flow
Next, you can check your water flow rate while using a simple method. Just multiply the area of your lawn by 0.62 gallons and then divide it by the sprinkler flow rate. 0.62 gallons is equal to almost 1 inch of water per square foot and the sprinkler flow rate can be availed from your manufacturer. Using this method will help you determine how many minutes you need to run the sprinkler.
Auto-timer happens to be one of the safest options as you can freely move around without having to worry about overwatering. You can screw the timer on the hose bib and connect the garden hose to it. Then, you just fill in the time and the timer will automatically shut off the water once done.
Using the right sprinkler
If you have an in-ground irrigation system, you are in luck. These are considered to be highly efficient with the pop-up sprinkler heads watering your lawn perfectly. Right now this might look like an investment but will end up paying for itself in the long run.
Don’t be disheartened if you do not have an in-ground irrigation system. You can always go for a pulsating, revolving sprinkler which serves the same purpose. While shooting out water horizontally at high velocity, pulsating sprinklers come in two types. One with a wide, flat base can be moved around the yard whereas the other one with a sharp spike which can be stuck anywhere in the ground.
Well suited for small to medium sized lawns, these sprinklers are used to water the lawns manually.
Hopefully, now you are equipped with everything you need to make your green lawn dreams come true. If you get your watering session right, not much is required to maintain a vibrant green lawn beyond a regular mowing.