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How Much Water Does Your Lawn Need?

It may seem elementary, but proper watering techniques are essential to a healthy, attractive lawn. Occasional light rains or short downpours are not enough to ensure your soil has been sufficiently soaked. So whether you’re tending your first lawn or simply wanting to confirm your watering approach is on track, this is the advice we have to offer:

● During the spring and fall you need to have your irrigation and sprinkler system checked to ensure it is working and the calibration is correct. American Tree Maintenance has qualified technicians who specialize in tune ups for your system but you can do it as well.

● How To Calibrate Water: The definition of calibration relevant to watering is the timing of how much water your zone puts out in a given amount of time. Example: put a pan in one of your zones and time how long it takes to fill to ½ inch. Now you know how long it will take to water that zone to a ½ inch depth.

● Why To Calibrate Water: Here in Alabama our soils are often clay based or on hills so maintaining water absorption is very difficult. Example: The goal is one inch of water a week applied, but the soil won’t absorb it. To prevent run off you may need to apply split applications: Two days a week at two different intervals a day, at a ¼ inch each. by applying this method this will cause the other applications of water to absorb better and reduce the waste of our natural resource. It’s kind of like a dry mop will not absorb the way a damp mop will.

● Established lawns should be watered deeply, but infrequently. Deep watering once or twice a week encourages deeper root growth, while daily, shallow watering produces a limited root system.

● When watering, make sure you moisten the top two to three inches of soil, which covers the root zone.

● Although watering frequency depends on the type of grass, your soil, and the weather, most grasses require about one inch of water each week for healthy growth.

● The best time to water is just before sunrise which greatly reduces the amount of water loss to evaporation. The most common lawn irrigation problem is watering at night because this sets up a scenario for fungal problems.

● Monitor your underground irrigation or sprinkler system to ensure that you moisten the lawn’s entire root zone without over-watering any sections.

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