15/07/2014

Watering your lawn

Water is essential for a healthy green lawn, but knowing when to water and how often to water your lawn can be confusing. Too much or too little water will harm your grass and prevent you obtaining the lush green lawn you want to achieve.

If your lawn is turning brown or it has lost its spring then it is likely you need to water your lawn. 

As a rule of thumb your lawn needs moisture at a depth of approximately 2 inches from the surface. Any less than this then your grass may struggle to get sufficient water to survive. Anymore and it is a waste of water as grass roots do not penetrate into the soil much deeper than this. 

You can test the moisture levels in your lawn, by inserting a screwdriver or digging a small hole into the lawn feeling for moisture. If the soil is dry then the lawn probably needs watering. It is a good idea to test several different areas of your lawn. You may find that areas of your lawn that are in the shade may require less water as they are shielded from the sun allowing them to retain more moisture. Try and water your lawn evenly for healthy grass growth. 

Water your garden early in the morning ideally before work. Because the sun hasn’t fully risen as a consequence the temperature is lower so less water is evaporated by the sun from the soil. Watering at night invites pests, fungus and mildew which can damage your lawn. Watering in the middle of the day when the sun is at its highest and hottest is an inefficient use of water, making the morning the ideal time to water your lawn. 

You should try and water your lawn once a week, allowing your lawn to partially dry out during this time. If you find the lawn doesn’t seem to dry out, then increase the time between watering. 

If you find that water is running off your lawn when you water, then you will need to adapt your watering strategy. A simple cause of run off could be that you are adding more water to lawn than the soil can absorb. If this is the case slow the rate at which you water. This can be a common problem when using sprinkler systems. 

Other possible reasons could be that the lawn is too dry or compacted. If this is the case reduce the amount of water you use and water more frequently. This way you will slowly add moisture back into the soil allowing you in time, to add more and more water into the soil. 

Aerating your lawn will also help. By forking your lawn and adding small holes into the lawn, it will allow water to penetrate deeper into the soil and allow fresh oxygen to reach the grass roots which is required for healthy grass growth. 

Garden hoses and sprinkler systems are commonly used to make watering your lawn quick and easy. GARDENA watering equipment is highly recommended. During periods of extreme heat and drought, it is common in the UK to have hose pipe bans. 

A good alternative to this is the use of water butts which collect water when it rains. This water can then be used on flowers, plants or on your garden when water is in short supply. 

Another helpful tip is that if you cut your grass frequently, leave your grass clippings on the lawn. As the grass clippings break down into the lawn, they release water and nitrogen which is absorbed by the soil, helping to promote healthy grass growth.

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