Rick Longnecker

It’s no secret that a lawn needs regular watering in order to survive a long, hot summer. Scorching temperatures and diminished rainfall over the summer months throw the ball into your court when it comes to turf care. Proper irrigation includes not only the amount you water but also HOW you water.

Simply put, extended periods of slow and steady watering are better than short periods of heavy watering. These long watering sessions do not need to be frequent, but they should happen at least twice a week. Long watering periods soften up dry, compacted soil and allow moisture to seep down to the root level so that it can be easily absorbed by the turf. Quick, high-volume irrigation sessions do not yield this level of absorption, instead causing water to be lost via runoff or evaporation.

When you water is also a key element of your irrigation plan. Water acts like a magnifying glass on your turf’s fragile blades. Grass that is soaked in hours of peak heat and sunshine runs the risk of being “fried” by the sun. Watering late in the day or the evening creates prolonged periods of dampness, which can lead to fungal growth. The early morning, before the heat of the day has hit, is the best time to water.

Quality irrigation is no accident. For a healthy lawn that looks great, plan on two early-morning soaks every week.

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