Our Best Watering Tips To Keep Your Grass And Gardens Green This Summer

Our Best Watering Tips To Keep Your Grass And Gardens Green This Summer

Whether you look forward to or wilt in the summer heat, the hot months of summer are coming fast! Don't let all your spring lawn care and gardening efforts go to waste. We all want to be wise with how we use water, so we've put together a list of our best watering tips to prevent your lawn and gardens from turning brown and shrivelling up this summer.

How To Tell Your Lawn Or Gardens Need Water

Sporadic, too-frequent, or shallow waterings aren't efficient or particularly helpful most of the time. Most homeowners are intuitive enough to know that a brown lawn or a plant lying on the ground needs water, but what should you look for so things don't get this bad?

Some plants will wilt faster than others when they lack sufficient water. They're a canary-in-a-coal-mine kind of plant. These are the plants to watch in the garden as a first indicator that you need to water (cucumber, melon, squash are good ones to watch). If the "canary" in your garden doesn't recover in the evening, know that it's time to water. If you walk across your grass and leave footprints behind, that's grass wilting.

What Does A Brown Lawn Really Mean?

A lawn that turns brown in the heat of July and August isn't dead, it's dormant. It's a survival instinct the plant adopts in order to survive drought-like conditions. For the sake of your lawn, you should water consistently to prevent dormancy (those without inground irrigation are forced to allow their lawns to go dormant and then wait for it to green up again naturally). By artificially reviving your lawn from dormancy over and over in a season (by neglecting to water it consistently or sufficiently), your lawn will become stressed and at some point may not bounce back.

Water The Roots Not The Leaves Of Your Lawn

In order to have plants thrive and survive our extreme weather, plants need deep roots. Deep roots help against wind, foot traffic, cold weather and drought. The best way to encourage deep roots is to water deeper in the soil so the plants have to reach for it.

Many homeowners program their lawn irrigation systems to run at night.�However, night time lawn irrigation isn't always the best idea for your grass and gardens.�The optimum time to water is actually in the early morning, when it's still cool enough to allow the water to soak in without having it sit for long.�Night watering can cause lawn disease, as well as mold and fungus problems for garden plants.

Plants in containers (especially patio-sized containers) need more water more frequently. The pots and soil heat up faster so the moisture needs to replaced more often. Avoid having your tomatoes split by keeping the soil consistently moist.

Know Your Plants And Soil Types

Grass, bushes, trees, vegetable plants, flowering plants, these all need different amounts of water. But how do you know which plants need more or less water, and how do you know WHEN to water them? Without a smart inground irrigation system, this can seem overwhelming! Our professional team can take the guess work out of when and how much to water and automate the process so you don't have to worry about it anymore.

Different�grass types�require different amounts of irrigation in order to sustain healthy growth (sturdy grass roots are usually 15 to 20 centimetres deep). Here's a quick look at the irrigation requirements for common grass types:

  • Lawns that are predominantly made up of tall�fescue grasses �are surprisingly drought resistant. This is because they have a naturally deep root system. As such, they can survive on minimal inground irrigation treatments.

  • Kentucky bluegrass, one of the most common grass varieties, consistently goes dormant during periods of hot, dry weather. It's best to let this happen naturally, rather than attempt to force it back to life with overzealous watering applications.

  • Other�warm-season grasses, like zoysia, St. Augustine, and bermudagrass all thrive in warm conditions. As such, these grasses normally require as much as 20 percent less water than cool-season grass types.

With that being said, a good rule of thumb is to provide your lawn with 2 or 3 centimetres of water per week.

Soil Type and Your Irrigation

As with grass type, soil composition will also impact your irrigation and lawn care in Burlington. This is because different soil types - loamy, sandy, or clay-based - retain moisture differently. For example, sandy soils absorb water quickly. As such they need less water more frequently. Additionally, soil that's packed hard will struggle to soak up water and loose soil will struggle to retain it.

Approximately 3 centimetres of water will penetrate as far as 30 centimetres into the soil. Loamy soil, on the other hand, absorbs water evenly, without any puddling or runoff. Approximately 3 centimetres of water will penetrate up to 17 centimetres in this soil type. Clay-based soils, the densest soil type, absorbs water slowly. This often results in runoff if water is applied too quickly. Approximately 3 centimetres of water will penetrate up to 12 centimetres.

New Lawns And Young Plants Require Extra Care

There's one final key element that you'll want to consider when planning your irrigation and lawn care in Burlington: your lawn's age. While all lawns will benefit from regular irrigation, new lawns are especially desperate for hydration.

The first year of growth is a critical time. Relying solely on rainfall to establish a healthy root system simply won't cut it. You'll need to supply supplemental irrigation during the first 12 months of growth in order to ensure the roots go deep to survive winter.

Inground Irrigation Systems Conserve Water

Water conservation is critical during the hot months of summer. Here are some important tips to keep in mind when programming your inground irrigation system:

  • Ensure proper distribution:�If your lawn isn't being watered evenly, contact our team. We'll send a technician out to adjust your inground irrigation system.

  • Time it right:�Water an hour or two before sunrise to minimize evaporation.

  • Simplify your cycles:�If your lawn is subject to high runoff rates (i.e. the soil is clay-based or your property features a steep slope) tweak your watering cycle so that the water has a chance to be absorbed instead of running off into storm sewers.

  • Inspect your system:�Regular maintenance will help ensure that your irrigation system is functioning properly.

Hoses are a Hassle - Inground Sprinkler Systems Save the Day

Don't bother with the hassle of a hose and above ground sprinkler. These are not the most effective way to water your lawn, and are certainly not the best use of your time. An irrigation system takes away the bother of waking up early to water your lawn at the right time.

Is it time to upgrade to an inground irrigation system?

Your Lawncare Can Affect How Effective Your Irrigation Is

Mowing a lawn too short causes stress to grass plants and hinders their proper growth (including root growth). If your grass is too long water gets trapped near the soil and can create problems with fungus and mold. You want to trim about 1/3 of the blade from your lawn once a week to keep it a healthy length so it's going to use the water delivered by your irrigation system most effectively.

Smart Inground Irrigation Systems Take The Guess Work Out Of Watering

Smart inground irrigation systems come with programmable timers, but that's not what makes them smart. They can also come with moisture sensors so you know exactly how much water your lawn or garden has received. These smart systems can connect to local weather forecasts so you don't water your lawn at 6AM and it thunder storms at 10AM.

These smart systems can also take into account the type of plants you're watering, so the vegetable garden gets a different amount of water from the lawn. All of this is easily programmed to accommodate your schedule and plans.

The 6 In Rule

The 6 In Rule is great if you don't have a smart irrigation system or you want to check the moisture in the soil for yourself. Allow the water to sink 6 inches into the soil of your lawn - that's the goal. You can check the soil every fifteen minutes the first time even when using an irrigation system to make sure the sensors are working correctly.�Lift the soil up 6 inches with a shovel and check to see if it's moist, or dry.

For the best inground sprinkler system services in the Burlington area,�request your complimentary quote� from our expert Nutri-Lawn Irrigation team today!