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Tips for landscape watering

Watering your lawn should not be a hit-or-miss task.

Take the guesswork
out of the equation with this quick guide.

Poor watering techniques cause lawns and plants more problems than any other single practice. Are parts of your lawn suffering? Are you afraid it will lose its luster? Defining serious landscape problems is best left to the professionals, but you can try a few tricks on your own and begin a preventative watering schedule now.

 

For lawns, the variables are many:
-Location; i.e., north, south, midwest, etc.
-Shade or sun
-Type of soil
-Time of year
-Time of day
-Type of sod
-Maturity of sod

Your local nursery will be able to answer many of the questions you may have, but generally you can perform your own testing on watering frequency and timing.

First and foremost, know which kind of soil you have. Soils usually fall into three categories: topsoil, sandy, or clay. A mixture is not uncommon.

One inch of water dispersed every 7-8 days will penetrate topsoil to about 10 inches. Sandy soil, on the other hand, requires a more frequent schedule of 5-6 days; the same one inch of water will reach a depth of about 12 inches. Clay is much more difficult to penetrate and must have the "one inch" of watering split into two sessions every 10 days. Even at this rate, you can only hope to penetrate about 4 inches.

Reduce the number of days between watering in the hotter areas; increase the days in cooler climates.

Always water in the early morning hours. This will protect from "cooking" and save as much as half of the water from evaporation.

Depending on rainfall, watering should continue year-round. Just because your lawn or plants are dormant, they should still require water, just not as often. Remember, new sod needs much more water; you should continue a frequent watering schedule until the root system has had time to develop.

Observe how your sprinkler or watering system is distributing the water, i.e., heavy in some areas and barely covering in others. An easy test is to place empty cans around each sprinkler head to catch water. Does each can contain the same? Adjust the system accordingly or look for new types of sprinkler systems and heads.

Periodically check soil in several locations to a depth of 4 inches to ensure even coverage.

Lush green lawns do not happen by accident and if you want to be the one with the greenest landscape, set up a regular watering schedule now and watch it grow.

 

 

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