Proper irrigation prevents drought conditions and disease in your lawn. Tips for proper irrigation include:
- Only water in the early morning hours to avoid both evaporation and fungus. When a lawn is irrigated when temperatures are low (such as at 5 a.m., for example), the water has a chance to absorb into the soil. At the same time, once the sun begins generating heat, the lawn will have an opportunity to dry, which prevents diseases from forming.
- To promote deep root growth, irrigate your lawn for longer periods of time. It is better to irrigate three times per week for 45 minutes per zone than to water every day for 10 minutes per zone. A healthy lawn with deeper root growth is able to withstand drought and can better out-compete weeds.
- Irrigate your lawn lightly throughout the dormant months for a greater chance of it survival through the winter without cold damage.
- Proper irrigation extends to the landscape beds, as well, and the same rules apply. Water deeply and in the morning hours only, and make sure your shrubs have not overgrown the reach of your irrigation system. Often, an insect infestation will occur on drought-stressed shrubs, and the cause can be traced to overgrown shrubs blocking sprinkler heads.
- A dry lawn is a haven to chinch bugs and weeds.
- Turf areas in direct sunlight or on slopes need more water, while areas in shade need less. Gray or hazy spots in your lawn are signs of drought. Other signs include folded up grass blades, crunchy sounds when grass is walked on, and foot imprints that remain after the grass is walked on.
- Inspect your overall irrigation system frequently to check for blocked, clogged, or broken sprinkler heads. Make sure you are getting the coverage and pressure you should be getting, and call in an irrigation specialist to properly maintain your system.