As we approach summer and with a predicted El Nino on the horizon, it’s a great time to take stock of our lawn watering practices and determine if there are ways to reduce our water usage without adversely affecting the health of our grass plants. Many people are watering lawns in all the wrong ways leading to water wastage and higher than necessary water bills. Too much water exposes the lawn to damage when the warmer weather hits – promoting the growth of fungal disease and increasing the amount of time and effort involved in mowing.
What you must remember is that your lawn will ‘tell’ you when it needs to be watered. When the leaves of the grass plants begin to wilt and discolour then it’s time for water. And when you do water, ensure that it is a deep watering to encourage a strong, healthy and deep root system. A deep root system will help the lawn to become more drought tolerant, needing less water and staying healthier during summer. When your lawn is watered less frequently the plants will naturally and instinctively send the roots deeper and deeper into the soil to reach water.
Only water again when the lawn tells you once more that it needs it.
On the other hand, watering often and quickly will encourage a shallow root system close to the surface of the lawn. This will cause the lawn to begin to wilt even when it has only been without water for a short period of time. As the warmer weather arrives lawns with shallow roots will quickly suffer and even possibly die.
Reducing water usage top tips:
- Water less frequently as discussed above
- Turn of automatic watering systems – it may save you some time but it can lead to over-watering and therefore a weaker lawn, wasted water and a hefty water bill
- Only apply 2.5cms of water to the entire lawn at any one time
- Water early in the morning when the water will not be lost in evaporation and never at night when any excess water can cause issue such as fungal disease
The Daleys Turf team recommends taking a walk over the lawn once every few days, checking for signs of wilting and stress and only water or manually turn on the watering system as required. And, as always, if you are replacing or installing a new lawn, select a turf variety that requires less watering, is drought tolerant, and is especially suited to your location and climate.