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Heatwave (Water, Water, Water)

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How do you know when your grass needs water?

Your grass will usually tell you when it needs water by turning grayish, dull green, and eventually yellow. It will also feel dry and crusty when you walk on it. In this recent heatwave we have had, many lawns are drying out and going into heat stress, and the only way to prevent this is to water a lot more than usual. While normal conditions call for lawn watering two to three times per week, it is a good idea to water almost every day in a heatwave. Even a healthy lawn can dry out quickly and go into stress. 

When is the best time to water your grass?

It might seem like you can go out and water your grass whenever you want, but watering needs to be done at specific times. We suggest watering your grass in the morning (before 9 a.m.), as it is the best time for your lawn to absorb the water most effectively. Morning waterings will allow your grassroots to absorb the nutrients in the water before it evaporates. It will also hydrate the roots before a long hot day. 

We strongly recommend avoiding watering your grass at night (after 5 p.m.) as your grass will not have enough time to absorb the water before nightfall. A wet lawn at night, although it might seem like a smart idea, will make your lawn susceptible to diseases. Think of your lawn as hair; you would not want your kids to run around at night with wet hair because it can make them sick; your lawn is exactly the same. Rule of thumb, the later you water, the greater chance of disease.

What should you keep an eye on when watering your grass?

In a heatwave as well as normal watering, we suggest, when watering your grass, keeping an eye on water distribution. Specifically, pay close attention to the flat, hard surfaces in your yard as they can cause runoff. Many people don’t realize that certain parts of their lawns are not receiving water because of sprinkler placement. Also, look out for pooling or puddling on your lawn, as you do not want to “drown” your grass by applying too much water too quickly to absorb. 

We also suggest that you keep an eye on turfgrass, ornamental trees and shrubs, and large native shade trees when watering your grass to avoid developing a fungus or disease due to shade. Watering, cool, shady grass also makes your lawn extremely susceptible to insects. Therefore, Dr. Green suggests watering your lawn the “smart” way to avoid any unwanted issues in your yard.

The Smart Way to Watering Your Grass

  1. Water your lawn in the morning, as this will ensure your lawn gets the nutrients it needs to be healthy, lush, and green.
  2. If you live in Texas, water in short cycles, allowing your grass to absorb the water. Longer watering cycles may lead to runoff and puddling.
  3. If you live in Illinois or Indiana, we recommend deep watering for at least 45 minutes to 1 hour each so that the water gets deep enough to reach the bottom of the roots.
  4. Ensure your watering system is effective and inspect it often, as leaking sprinklers or water-filled valve boxes lead to poor watering practices.
  5. Do not overwater your lawn. We suggest checking with your local water authority or lawn care expert for their recommendations on irrigation schedules. They will be able to provide you with some suggested watering cycles based on weather conditions and forecasts.

Want to learn more, or do you have questions?

For more information on Watering, please contact our Lawn Care Expert, Luis Perez, via email at luisp@doctorgreen.com.

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