How Inground Irrigation Protects Lawns From Late Summer Stress

The days of 30+ degrees of hot sticky weather have already arrived with plenty more on the way. Our part of Canada is a land of extremes and those weather fluctuations are stressful for your lawn and garden. We've listed a few ideas on using your inground irrigation system to ensure your Burlington lawn and garden look healthy and lush all season long!

Let The Grass Grow A Little Longer Than Usual

Don't mow the lawn during a heat wave. Enjoy a book, float in the pool, sit on the deck with a frosty drink - whatever you like. The heat puts a lot of stress on grass and mowing only exasperates that stress. The longer blades shelter the soil keeping it cooler and preserving moisture so raise the deck on your mower to 2.5-3" high. Mow only enough to keep the yard looking tidy.

Sure, your inground irrigation system will keep the grass looking green, but the soaring daytime temps and cooler nights cause stress any way you slice it.

Weeds Thrive Where Your Lawn Withers

Unfortunately, weeds seem to thrive in the conditions that cause our lawns and gardens the most stress: extreme heat and humidity, drought-like conditions, etc. The best defense against weeds is a healthy lawn with a thick impenetrable root system, and proper watering with your inground irrigation system is a huge advantage.

But where your lawn thrives, so will weeds. Sometimes you just can't win, right? Time your weeding for earlier in the day when the ground is a bit softer or immediately following a good watering so the soil lets go of those pesky roots more easily. Hard ground hangs onto weedy roots like glue!

Consider A Rain Barrel

For those areas your inground irrigation system can't reach - potted containers on the deck or patio, hanging plants, etc., a rain barrel can yield a surprising amount of water full of nutrients your container plants crave!

Position the rain barrel under a downspout and capture all the rain streaming off your roof. Make sure to cover the rain barrel in such a way to prevent mosquito breeding! This way you can freely water your containers between rainfalls without dragging out the hose or moving heavy containers to reach the irrigation system.

Rain barrels are super handy when watering restrictions can cause your container plants stress by going too long between waterings!

Program Your Inground Sprinkler SystemTo Comply With Watering Restrictions

Many summers see the city of Burlington place watering restrictions on residential use to conserve water. Fair enough. You can program your inground sprinkler systems to adhere to the watering restrictions (even or odd days for instance), to only water during the early hours where evaporation has less of an effect on the water delivery.

If your inground irrigation system has smart weather sensors, your system will know how much moisture is in the soil or what the weather forecast is, so that even if it is your day to water you don't waste water.

Container Plants Need More Water More Often

During heat waves, your container plants should be watered every day in the hottest part of the day to prevent plants from stressing. (This is opposite to the advice we give for watering lawns, but containers dry out faster and require more moisture. Also, most container plants are annuals, so there's less need for strong root systems).

Water Deep To Encourage Deep Roots

Avoid watering just the very top layer of soil only. You want your plants to send out deep roots because a healthy root system has many benefits.

When you're out on your lawn with a hose, it's tempting to just water enough to see that the soil is wet on top and call it done. With an inground irrigation system, you can set your system to sense how much moisture is in the soil so just the right amount of water is delivered to reach the roots deeper in the soil.

As the water seeps into the soil, the roots will reach and seek it out. Strong deep roots are the best protection against wind, drought, disease, and other problems.

Let The Soil Dry

Between waterings, leave enough time for the soil to dry out. In combination with the tip above, this will help promote deep roots also. Now, when we say let the soil dry out, you don't want it to look like a sun-baked desert. You can feel when the soil is dry. Dry soil is often hard packed or might be closer to the consistency of dust.

Roots that are kept constantly wet will be prone to rot.

Water Early

The best time of day to water is early in the day. Set the timer on your inground irrigation system to water in the cooler morning hours. Watering at this time day allows the water to seep into the soil instead of evaporating into the air. Morning watering means plants have a chance to dry their leaves before night time.

Plants that are wet all night can be prone to mold and fungus problems.

Late Summer In-Ground Irrigation

Knowing exactly how much water your lawn needs can be difficult. Luckily this is where a custom inground sprinkler system comes in. A customized irrigation system has been designed with your lawn in mind. Installed exactly where you need it throughout your property, in ground irrigation responds to the needs of your lawn. Taking the guess work out of watering your lawn has never been so simple.

Weather Sensing Sprinkler Systems

With a little more rain in the forecast, ensuring your lawn is not over watered or under watered is important for its health. Nutri-Lawn Burlington offers in-ground irrigation systems that employ weather sensing sprinkler heads to monitor natural precipitation.

Each sprinkler head is equipped with weather sensing technology that analyzes the amount of natural precipitation your lawn receives and recalculates the amount of water to be administered by the irrigation system. This intelligent design not only saves you money by using less water, but it is also better for the environment and your lawn!

Over watering is just as harmful as under watering.

Late Summer Overseeding and Aeration

Towards the end of August and into September, you'll see garden centres begin to place lawn seed out again. This is a popular time of year to overseed your lawn because of the cooler temperatures. There's also enough growing season left for the grass to get enough of a start to survive the winter.

Aeration is often done in the spring but can be done in late summer as well. Aeration will improve the effectiveness of your inground irrigation system by relieving soil compaction problems and promoting better air circulation to roots. If you plan to fertilize, aeration can be effective in making sure the nutrients reach the roots instead of sitting on the top of the soil where it damages plants.

If your lawn has been damaged by extreme heat, drought, pests, or weeds over the summer, overseeding might be a good idea. Aerating your lawn prior to overseeding will lead to the best results. Combined with the help of your inground irrigation system, your lawn will get a leg up on next season with minimal effort on your part!

After you have overseeded your lawn, make sure to program your in-ground irrigation system to account for the increase in water your lawn will need. Grass seed and seedlings need constant moisture for about two weeks.

Late Summer Fertilizing Made Easier With Inground Irrigation

Before you do anything else you must choose the right kind of food for your late summer fertilization. This will depend on the state of your grass - old or brand new - and what you're trying to achieve. Which fertilizer you choose will also depend on the N-P-K numbers. N-P-K stands for nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, respectively. These numbers can range anywhere from 21-7-14, 15-15-15, and so on. Nitrogen is often the highest number.

If your grass is newly planted, you'll want a grass with high levels of phosphorus to encourage maturation and strength. Older grass needs nitrogen to promote lush colour and strength. With the changing season, your grass will require a considerably higher ratio of potassium. Potassium adds disease resistance, as well as the strength and energy required to undergo the transition into cold weather.

Fertilizer Needs Adequate Water Or It Damages Your Lawn

To work properly, fertilizer needs to be properly diluted and absorbed with water. Fertilizer that's not properly diluted or absorbed will burn your grass defeating the whole point of applying it. However, with your inground irrigation, you're no longer tied to the weather. You don't need to wait for a few days of light rain predicted because you can set your system to deliver a reliable source of water as you need it!

Don't go overboard though. Drenching your grass will only cause the fertilizer to run into the gutters on the street below which is a waste.

Preparing your lawn to survive winter begins in later summer and it's not too late to install or upgrade your inground irrigation system Contact Nutri-Lawn Irrigation Burlington for a complimentary estimate on our inground irrigation systems.