In March, we covered ways to modify your lawn so that it required fewer resources to maintain. However, some of the suggestions like using a more drought tolerant grass are long term suggestions. Now that we are at the peak of summer heat, many homeowners are looking for ways to water their existing lawn more effectively. Here are a few ways to make the most of the water you use for irrigation.
Water in the Early Morning
The key to watering effectively is to prevent unnecessary loss of water. One of the largest sources of water loss is to evaporation. For good reason, many municipalities ban lawn watering during peak daylight hours since evaporation is most severe from midday to the afternoon hours. The best time to water is around four to six in the morning. Not only is evaporation low at this time, but the morning sun will dry the grass out and prevent fungi growth that can plague grass watered in the evening.
Choose Efficient Sprinkler Heads
If you are watering with a manual sprinkler, then the pulsating type is better than an oscillating sprinkler. The pulsating sprinkler projects its water at a lower height, so less is lost to evaporation and winds. Even if you have a built-in sprinkler system, it is best if large zones are covered by rotor-head pulsating sprinklers. These sprinklers deliver their water over a larger area, so less water falls on a given area in a given time. The ground is able to better absorb the water, leading to less runoff. In zones that use fixed sprinkler heads, consider watering the zone in two separate passes with an hour between to allow the ground to absorb the water.
Water Appropriately For Your Grass Species
In general, we tend to overwater grass. Depending on your grass species, you will need to water for different amounts of time. In the absence of rain, a Kentucky bluegrass lawn will need around an inch-and-a-half of water a week, while a fescue grass needs only around half this amount. Buffalo grass only needs around half an inch every other week. An easy way to measure your system’s output is to run the sprinklers for 15 minutes and measure how much water falls in a straight-walled container in that time.
Water Deep But Infrequently
Grass will be most hardy if the roots grow long, but if they get water every day the roots will remain short. Instead, water only every three to seven days. By providing the grass with heavy watering but less frequency, the grass will be more drought resistant.
Hopefully these tips help you conserve water while maintaining a great lawn this year. If you’re interested in building a great Real Log Home complete with a great lawn, please contact us.