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How Much Water Does My Lawn Need

 


There are so many factors to look at when it comes to how much water your lawn needs. Let’s discuss what it takes to keep that lawn in tip top shape.

 

Runoff

 

Water runoff happens when the soil in the rootzone is saturated or when water cannot percolate into a compacted soil fast enough. Finding a happy medium with your soils percolation will help eliminate run off problems.


Aeration is particularly helpful in heavily compacted clay soils. Good percolation in a lawn allows fertilizers to absorb deep rather than runoff of a compacted lawn. Clay soils, although very fertile, become compacted, not allowing water to absorb down into it. This creates a shallow rootzone, making it tough on any plant to survive. Aeration and a top dressing of sand is often required to make clay soils more porous. This creates a deeper, healthier rootzone for the plant while reducing the possibility of a lawn disease. Aerators can be rented in the tool rental department.

 

Evaporation

 

Water evaporation differs in different climates and at different times of the day. Desert climates with low humidity will create up to 50% more evaporation than a climate with high humidity. Low trajectory sprinkler nozzles, along with multiple row systems will put the water on the ground quicker, limiting evaporation greatly. Evaporation loss is minimized when irrigating in the morning when air and soil temperatures are at their lowest.

 

Soil types and porosity

 

Clay soils present much different problems than sandy soils, therefore we try to make each like the other. Clay soils, although very fertile, become compacted, not allowing water to absorb down into it. This creates a shallow rootzone, making it tough on any plant to survive. Aeration and a top dressing of sand is often required to make clay soils more porous. This creates a deeper, healthier rootzone for the plant.

Sandy soils have bigger particulates, which creates more air space, allowing water to absorb much more quickly. This also allows nutrients to leach out, therefore we must try amending nutrients into it while decreasing porosity.

 

Water retention

 

Retention is simply how much water a soil can hold. Clay soils can retain water for a much longer period of time than that of a sandy soil. This retention capability is what dictates the frequency in which you must irrigate the lawn. Clay soils percolate more slowly but retain longer, so you can cut back on the frequency in which you water but you must water for duration twice as long as a sandy soil.

Sandy soils percolate faster but retain water for a much shorter period of time; therefore you must water more frequently, for a shorter duration.

 

Grass types

 

Cool season grasses, during peak warm season, need .3 inches of water a day. In soils with good water retention, this can mean .6 inches every other day. Warm season grasses hold up better in the heat, therefore only requiring .25 inches of water per day. In clay soils it is better to throw .75 inches of water at a lawn 1 time every 3 days, so it can absorb deeper into the rootzone. In sandy soil it is better to run the sprinkler daily.

 

Here is a few helpful buying guides:

Automatic Irrigation Systems

Irrigation Timers

Irrigation Pumps

 

 

Other Related Articles:

The Best Pasture Grass For Cows and Horses

12 Essential Nutrients Plants Need To Stay Healthy

What is lime and why is it important?

Vigoro Lawn schedule

Top Benefits of Leveling Your Lawn


What are the numbers on fertilizer? What are the different types of grass?


Amending Different soil types

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Posted 2016-01-07T18:02:39+0000  by Ingar_HD_ATL Ingar_HD_ATL
 
 

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