Common Lawn Watering Mistakes
March 16, 2021
We all love a lush, green lawn. It doesn’t take a lot of work to keep it that way. Irrigation is a critical process for maintaining your lawn. You can start by avoiding these common lawn water mistakes.
Lawn watering mistake #1: The wrong frequency
Your lawn needs water, but it should be applied at the right time and in the right amount. And it’s best to space it out, not soak your lawn with one heavy application. According to the USDA, your lawn needs irrigation approximately every four to eight days. The correct watering encourages the roots to be deep enough for a healthy lawn. For best results in South Carolina’s climate, aim for one inch of water of water per week for your lawn. Bear in mind that this amount includes rainfall, so pay attention to the weather and adjust your irrigation system accordingly.
Lawn watering mistake #2: Too much water
Water is life. Too much water is drowning. When you water your lawn too often, you risk the health of your lawn.
● You’re essentially flushing the vital nutrients that the plants need, like nitrogen and potassium, deeper into the soil, where they can’t help the roots.
● With too much water, roots will remain closer to the surface, which makes them susceptible to damage from footsteps and animals that dig. When the roots are exposed, the grass won’t survive.
● Too much water also creates a welcome mat for insects that thrive on moisture. In addition, those insects attract moles that feed on the bugs.
Lawn watering mistake #3: Not enough watering
Your lawn needs water to survive. It will die of thirst if you don’t follow the rule for correctly watering your lawn (see #2). How can you tell if your lawn is receiving the right amount of water? Walk across your lawn and look down. Are your footprints springing back? If not, it’s time to water your lawn. You can also poke the lawn with a screwdriver or sharp stick. When you pull it out, check to see if the moisture has seeped below the surface. If so, you’re good for now and don’t need to water the lawn.
Lawn watering mistake #4: Watering at the wrong time of the day
The point to irrigating your lawn is to apply water so it absorbs into the soil. To maximize the effectiveness, water your lawn early in the morning, before 10:00 a.m. Otherwise, the sun beats down and evaporates the water before it can do its job.
Lawn watering mistake #5: Watering all areas the same
If some areas of your lawn are in the sun most of the day while others experience the comfort of shade, you need to adjust your irrigation. Shift the zones so that the shaded areas don’t receive as much water as the sunny spaces.
Lawn watering mistake #6: Assuming your sprinklers are doing their job
Your sprinklers have a job to do: spray water. They don’t decide where and how much to spray. If a sprinkler head is bumped, clogged, or damaged, it may or may not continue to spray or it might spray in a direction that you don’t want. You end up with unwatered or flooded areas. Here’s how you can test your sprinklers’ function. Place empty, flat-bottomed cans (like tuna or cat food) on the grass in each irrigation zone. Run your sprinkler system for 15 minutes. When it has finished, check the amount of water collected in each can. Measure the depth with a ruler. If you normally run your sprinkler for an hour, multiply that depth by four (15 X 4 = 60 minutes). That’s the total your lawn is receiving for that cycle. Remember, you don’t want more than a half-inch at a time if you are watering twice a week. For any area not receiving the right amount of water—too much or too little—adjust the direction or replace the sprinkler head. It’s a good idea to have your irrigation system inspected by a professional to make sure it’s performing as it should. This inspection includes checking the angle of the sprinkler heads and the condition of the valve boxes.
Use water wisely on your lawn
The average homeowner uses more than 30% of its water for watering the lawn. Make sure you’re not wasting it!
In the Charleston, SC, area, LandOne Group provides professional landscaping and lawn care for both homes and businesses. We welcome the opportunity to bring our expertise to you. Contact us for more information so you can ensure that your lawn and landscape look their best all year long.