- Posted by Hinged
- On July 14, 2017
When we first moved into a house with a lawn, by the middle of every summer our grass was looking pretty sad. Over the years through trial and mostly error and with the addition of a sprinkler system we have gotten better at keeping our lawn green and healthy all season long. Here are some tips that can help improve yours.
Water just the right amount. Your grass is like Goldilocks, too much water can drown the roots, make it susceptible to disease and lead to soil erosion. Too little water and your lawn will wilt and go into hibernation or worse. Both cases will weaken your lawn and give weeds a chance to take root. It really depends on climate, soil and weather, but most lawns need one to two inches of water a week. It’s better to water a lot every two or three days than to water a little every day, as saturated soil from a heavier watering will promote deep root growth and lead to a thicker healthier lawn. It’s also optimal to water in the early morning, you’ll lose less water to evaporation and the grass will be less likely to develop a fungus problem if it dries during the day and is not wet all night.
Knowing how much water you are putting on your lawn is essential for getting everything just right. One way to test how much water your sprinkler or sprinkler system is providing your lawn is to put out a straight sided container. Shim the bottom so that it is sitting level. Run your sprinkler for 15 minutes and see how much water is in the container. Multiply the depth of the water by four to find how much water your system puts out in an hour. Check your system in a few places as different heads or sprinkler positions will have different flows. Once you know your output, factor in recent rainfall and set your system time per zone appropriately. If you’re using hoses and sprinklers move them around as needed.
If you’re still not sure that you are putting down the right amount of water, try dialing back the run time for each zone until your lawn starts to stress. Look for wilting, curling and stiff blades of grass. Footprints that don’t bounce back after you walk across the lawn is another sign of dehydration. Once you see these symptoms, you can increase the run time by two or three minute intervals until it your lawn is looking healthy again. Don’t be surprised if some areas need more run time than others or stress out sooner. Differences in soil type, soil condition, and the amount of sunlight received will affect the amount of water needed.
After a rainstorm, check how much precipitation fell and deduct it from your watering times to compensate. If you have an automated sprinkler system, don’t assume that the rain sensor is going to make the adjustments for you. Most of the sensors simply stop the water flowing when the sensor is wet. As soon as it dries off your system reverts to normal regardless of how much rain just fell.
If all of this seems like a lot of work, you’re right. It’s really difficult to manage dragging hoses and running sprinklers. A well installed in-ground sprinkler system, like those installed by Hinged’s contractors makes it a lot easier to keep your lawn healthy and at least a shade or two greener than your neighbors’.