It’s safe to say that we’re in the dog days of summer. It’s dry, it’s hot and many lawns are experiencing the effect of heat stress. In these sorts of conditions, knowing how much or how little to water your lawn can make a big difference in your lawn’s overall health. During most times of the year, your lawn will get the amount of water it needs to thrive. But during dry periods, you’ll need to give it a little extra help in order to quench its thirst. But just how much? Or how little? That’s the question we’re here to help answer today: How do you know if you’re overwatering or underwatering and what are the signs? Let’s find out! Did you know… Remember the old saying ‘too much of a good thing…?” Well, that most certainly applies when we’re talking about irrigating your turf. Believe it or not – overwatering can do even more damage than underwatering and in some cases, you can flat-out ruin your lawn. Finding a balance is crucial because grass needs BOTH oxygen and water in order to grow. When you overwater, you push the air out of the spaces where grass acquires it and suffocates the roots. Eventually, the grass will die. In addition, it can create a whole swath of additional problems, too; like shallow root growth, greater susceptibility to weeds, disease and insect infestation. Overwatering Here are some signs that you might be overwatering your lawn:
Thatch – Thatch is a layer of decomposing plant material that builds up when you kill off soil bacteria. When that’s present, the chances are you’re overwatering.
Fungus – Thin or weak grass that has red or orange-ish coloring to it could be a fungus developing from moisture being trapped between blades of grass. It’s a telltale sign of overwatering.
Weeds – While weeds are a normal occurrence in any setting, they do tend to reveal themselves more when conditions are wetter. They also become harder to deal with as their roots grow stronger and become harder to control. When you notice a lot of crabgrass, you have too much water in your soil.
Bugs – When it’s moist – you’re creating an ideal environment for insects. Damage from worms and other insects are almost always a consequence of intentional or unintentional overwatering.
Underwatering On the other hand, if your lawn is underwatered, you can see a whole swath of problems, including:
Dry patches – If you notice that your lawn has extensive, patchy areas of what looks like straw rather than grass, you could be watering too little.
You can see footprints – Grass becomes far less flexible when it’s not properly hydrated. If grass doesn’t spring back up after you step on it and you notice track marks, you’ll certainly need to consider giving your lawn some more water.
Extremely slow growth – If you’re noticing that you don’t have to mow your lawn as much as you used to, your growth could be stunted as a result of not having enough water.
While dry turf isn’t a good thing necessarily, it’s not the end of the world and it’s something that can be fixed. Especially in environments like ours in Largo, FL – warm-season grasses like Bermuda of Zoysia are built for the heat and can weather a lot of harsh conditions. While keeping up on a watering schedule can seem stressful, it doesn’t have to be. Give our team here at Aqua Sprinklers a call today and we’ll help you put a plan together that will keep your yard happy and healthy. Good luck!