Watering your lawn during the summer is more important than most people think. While irrigation systems may seem like an unnecessary expense, a lawn needs water in the same way we do! The summer season, especially in the Metro Atlanta area, consists of dry air and high temperatures, which can result in drought stress on your property. Summertime is the prime time to enjoy your lawn, and proper watering practices will help keep it green, healthy and lush through the season.
Signs That Your Lawn Needs Water
When a lawn is deprived of water, it will show signs of drought stress through wilting and discoloration. The first visible response you will notice is known as “footprinting,” which is presented just as it sounds where tracks are seen in the grass. Foot impressions or mower tracks will be apparent because the grass blades will not spring back to their natural position. Additionally, a thirsty lawn will lose its lush condition as grass blades will fold or roll up, resulting in a thin, needle-like appearance. Another consequence of drought stress is a change in color throughout the lawn. A lawn that is lacking water will turn brown, straw-like color and enter into a state of dormancy.
In order to care and protect a lawn that is experiencing drought stress, it’s important to provide it with proper nutrients and hydration, similar to caring for yourself when “under the weather”. The most important step in bringing your lawn back to health is making the change in watering habits. All lawns grow best with at least 1 inch of water per week. If using irrigation, heavy watering once per week is ideal. Short watering cycles do not allow the water to soak deeply into the root system. Also, reducing your mowing frequency and raising the mower height during this time can prevent any further stress to the grass. Finally, it’s best to maintain a regular fertilization schedule to ensure the lawn is receiving vital nutrients that will help bring it back to health.
Did You Know…
- It’s better to water your lawn early in the morning, rather than late at night.
- A lawn can only hold water up to 7 days.
- Water makes up 75%-80% of the weight in grass.
- To measure water that is applied to an area use a container, such as a tin can or coffee cup marked at 1 inch.
- It is better to water for longer periods fewer times a week, than water daily in short spurts.
- Watering at night can promote disease and standing water in your lawn.