Best Watering Habits
Water sustains life. We all need water and just like us, our lawns not only need water but the right amount. Too little and the grass will die of thirst, too much and it drowns. Then factor in the amount of rain our area gets. The monthly rainfall averages vary as little as 1.54 inches during our drought months to 7.76 inches during the rainy season according to the US Climate Data Services. Knowing what our areas best watering habits are will help you keep your lawn beautiful and healthy.
The types of soil (sandy loom) and grasses (St. Augustine) in our area need an average of 1 inch of water per week. During our drought months, usually between December until April and May, grass roots are searching for water. When your lawn receives the right amount of moisture it soaks the roots encouraging them to head downward growing between 6 to 7 inches. When the roots don’t receive enough water, they start searching for it. The roots will actually grow to the surface. This shortens the root system to just 2 or 3 inches. These shorter roots close to the surface are more susceptible to heat and drought creating “heat stress”. Then comes our rainy season, by then the shorter roots drown by being at the top of the soil.
Heat stress can lead to more problems such as disease, insect infestation, weeds and overall weakens your lawn. Heat stress comes from lack of water and can show up with grass wilting, brown spots and finally the death of the lawn itself.
How do you know if your lawn is suffering from heat stress? Look at your overall lawn carefully. If your grass leaves are folding in and wilting and or you notice brown and random rough patches of grass located in full sun areas or in higher ground areas this will be your clue to heat stress. You might also note that areas beside the water sprinkles or under shaded areas are still green.
How do you protect your lawn from Heat Stress? Enter the moisture meter. The moisture meter is a devise that we at BeeGreen recommend to all our customers. It’s easy to use, read and in the “Big Box Stores” and “Online Shopping Outlets” these meters are extremely inexpensive. Customers who use these devises have been very successful in their watering programs. After watering, simply insert the moisture meter into your soil. Wait the appropriate time recommended by the meter and the readings will let you know if your lawn has gotten enough water. It’s a good idea to check several of your lawns zones with your meter to see if each area is getting sufficient amounts of water.