Should we even water our lawns? Isn’t that wasteful? If it doesn’t produce food, it just wastes water, energy and resources for social vanity.
As the weather warms up in the northern hemisphere and across the country, lawns are getting crispy and burnt. Hot weather and lack of rain is turning lawns from green oasis to hard, crunchy mats. While homeowners may be tempted to dowse their lawns with water in the afternoon, this is definitely not the most efficient use of city water to salvage lawns.
Gardening experts claimed watering at a certain time of day will ensure lawns use water most efficiently. Most forms of grass are some of the most resilient plants on the planet, so they are likely to survive summer with just a little of your attention to when and how you water.
More Efficient Watering
During long bouts of hot weather, lawns can survive even if they don’t look their best during this time. Watering lawns during hot, sunny days (especially in the southern part of the U.S.A) should be avoided as most the water will evaporate. Furthermore, watering lawns during a hot summer can be costly to your pocketbook and environment. The truth is that it would be healthier for you and the planet if you just leave nature to do its work. Eventually, natural rains will come along and bring moisture levels in the soil back to normal.
But for those who are adamant about watering their lawns, applying the water in the evening after 8pm is the best and most efficient watering method. Doing so ensures the grass gets the best use out of it, and the grass has all night to use the water more efficiently.
Though it is better to water in the evening, if you forget or have an early schedule, watering lawns in the morning should be done before the sun gets high… before 8:00 am.
How Much Water?
It really depends on the context, type of grass and watering method. Outside extreme temperatures, one inch of water per week is sufficient for a lawn to remain healthy during warm seasons. Drip lines or sprinklers should be run for approximately 30 to 35 minutes twice a week. Again, this depends on volume and flow. The point is do it twice a week, enough to help the lawn survive but do not soak it. Over soaking dry lawns wastes water obviously but doing so can also encourage mold, fungus, or mildew.
The Real Issue: Soil, Not Grass
Soil condenses and shrinks in hot and dry conditions because the air is sucked out along with the moisture. It helps to aerated lawns to improve the grass’ root development, water percolation and nutrition. Aeration should be done in the fall/autumn when the heat of summer has passed. Use a hollow-tine aeration fork or machine but not a garden fork to aerate the lawn.
Work with nature, not against it. Avoid harmful synthetic pesticides or herbicides.