It’s difficult to know how much water your lawn needs at the best of times, but do you know how to handle your lawn during a New Jersey summer? Typically, during the cooler season grass needs just an inch and a half of water each week. This will allow it to grow actively and it will maintain it’s color. However, during the summer your lawn growth will slow. Your lawn needs more than just watering; there’s quite a lot involved to protecting your lawn all year round.
Before the heat starts, you need to decide whether you are going to actively water your lawn consistently or allow it to go dormant. It has to be one or the other. You can’t start watering your lawn when it turns brown and then let it go dormant again. Breaking dormancy drains food reserves from your lawn and plants.
How Much Water
Most people assume that as soon as the warm weather starts, it’s time to water. That isn’t necessarily true. It could increase rooting if you allow your lawn to first go into mild drought stress. Generally, when your grass gets darker, or the blades of the lawn don’t bounce back after footsteps, then it’s time to water. Believe it or not, you shouldn’t water your lawn regularly. However, you should water it deeply when you do water. There are exceptions to this rule, such as newly sodded or seeded lawns or those with a patch disease. Ideally, two or three times a week is more than sufficient.
When To Water
When you water is important. The best time to water your lawn and plants is early morning (between 4 and 9 in the morning) when everything is still wet from dew. This will help you avoid evaporation during the midday as well as the night time watering risk of disease. The key is to ensure the watering is reaching the roots of the lawn. Additionally, it’s important to ensure the water spreads uniformly. When it comes to sprinklers, there’s overlap to ensure uniform coverage. You can use coffee cans to measure just how effective your system is and tinker with it. The coffee can will also help you determine just how long it takes to water up to one and a half inches. Be careful to avoid flooding or missing patches.
If you want to conserve water, then you can leave your lawn a little taller. The recommended height for mowing is around 3.5 or 4 inches which will allow your lawn to retain more water. You should sharpen the blades of your mower monthly. Never mow your lawn when it’s damp, dormant or during the hottest time of the day. It’s also important to make sure you’re only moving a third of the blade when you mow the lawn. It’s much trickier than most people realize, but if you want an amazing lawn, this is what it takes which is why many people draft in the professionals to tackle their lawn care needs. Additionally, you should avoid foot traffic on the lawn, and skip pesticides to help conserve water.