Lets talk water! Specifically, watering turf grass. In this post we will talk about:
- How water works for turf grass
- When to water
- How often to water
- How much to water
Turf grass requires water to function properly, to grow strong roots, thick blades and for color. Water is one of the key components in photosynthesis. Water combines with light and carbon dioxide, providing the turf grass with the carbon needed for growth. Water is taken up through the soil combined with minerals broken down by the soil. Bottom line is, turf grass needs water!
When to water? Watering early morning is the most effective time to water turf grass. Early morning watering gives the soil the proper amount of time to soak in the water applied and limit how long the turf grass will be wet. Watering while the hot Florida sun is up wastes a lot of water from evaporation, not giving the soil time to soak up the water needed.
How often should you water? One of the keys to proper watering is a properly functioning irrigation system. Watering days differ in certain counties throughout Fl. (check yours here http://www.swfwmd.state.fl.us/conservation/restrictions) and are limited to usually once a week. A good rule of thumb is to only water when your turf grass shows signs of drought, such as visible foot steps left when walking on the grass or folded leaf blades. Applying the correct amount of water is also important.
How much to water? A deep watering results in a deep root. How long to water each zone varies, upon the amount of water present in the soil at the time. Feel free to ask your lawn guy how you can determine the amount of water present in your soil! Watering the top 10 inches of soil should be the goal. An average automatic irrigation system takes between 20-30 minutes per zone to put out 1/2 an inch of water, which will wet the top 10 inches of soil. Shorter watering is more harmful to turf grass because it keeps the water to the top few inches of soil, Making the root base shallow and more susceptible to issues.
It’s important to note that watering is only one key component to a healthy lawn. Though watering is important the majority of turf grass problems actually come from over watering or under watering . Not every area of your turf grass will require the same amount of water, depending on light, shade and soil. Always seek professional help to keep your irrigation system functioning properly and to learn the proper watering schedule/plan for your grass. We would be happy to answer any questions or concerns you may have about watering and the overall health of your turf grass.
Paul B./ Balogh’s Extra Lawn Care