Watering your lawn is essential to creating a healthy and beautiful yard, but to avoid wasting money and damaging your lawn, your watering practices should be strategic. Instead of relying on following the lead of neighbors, try following the points below to achieve a healthy and luscious lawn everyone will be jealous of.
How much water should I use?
According to the University of Florida, a typical yard in Florida holds one inch of water for every 12 inches of soil. Watering your lawn too often can damage the roots by saturating them with water. Alternatively, if the yard isn’t getting enough moisture, the roots will dry out. It’s important to find a good balance.
A general rule is to water your grass when it begins to look dry. Following a strict watering schedule can also help save money on your utility bill by reducing sprinkler use. Generally, watering your lawn two days a week is recommended in Florida, though the recommendation for the amount of time spent watering changes based on the season. The following chart from the University of Florida can be used as a guide:
|Month||Amount of Time to Water Per Day|
When should I water my lawn?
The best time to water your lawn is during the morning or evening hours, because water is more likely to evaporate later in the heat of the day, wasting water in the process. As a rule, try not to water your lawn between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Watering your lawn too late in the evening can also be harmful to your grass. If the grass stays wet too long, and not enough water evaporates, this excess moisture can cause fungal growth and other issues. To make sure your yard is receiving the proper amount of water, poke a screwdriver 5-6 inches into the ground after watering. If the screwdriver is wet, the yard is being properly moisturized. If you have trouble piercing the ground with the screwdriver, your yard isn’t getting enough moisture.
Should I still water my lawn if it rains?
The question of whether or not you should water your grass after a good rain depends on the amount of rainfall. Generally speaking, lawns need about three-quarters of an inch of water per week. If your yard has received this amount of water or more, it is safe to put away the hose or sprinkler for the time being. Watering your grass right before rain wastes water and could potentially harm your lawn by adding excess moisture, so keep an eye on the forecast before you start watering.
What about irrigation systems?
If you have an irrigation system, you should still follow these guidelines for when to run your system and for how long. If you do not currently have an irrigation system, you may consider investing in one, depending on your needs and the needs of your lawn. If your lawn is larger, has a lot of landscaping or otherwise requires too much time and effort to water manually, an irrigation system might be a good investment to make, especially in Florida, where it will likely be used year-round. Though they can cost upwards of a few thousand dollars, irrigation systems can help homeowners save time, effort and water, as well as achieve better results with their yards.
The latest irrigation systems allow homeowners to program sprinkler activity in certain areas of their lawn; for example, running sprinklers in areas that receive full sun for longer than sprinklers in shadier areas, or in areas with plants that have specific watering needs. Some higher-end systems even measure sunlight and temperature and make necessary adjustments to watering schedules without input from homeowners. Irrigation systems are also an attractive feature for prospective homebuyers, not only because they are convenient, but also because they often result in a more attractive lawn.
Have additional questions about lawn watering or irrigation systems? Contact C&A Landscape at 850-329-0621.