This is Ricks Picks. It seems that several times a week, I have home owners come into my store and ask me for fertilizer for their lawn. When I ask them what color their lawn is, they reply is that it is "Yellow"! What is wrong with this picture? As I press further, I ask how much they water their lawn. The reply is almost the same every time, "I water the lawn all the time".
As the conversation continues, I discover that the lawn is being watered by hand for about 5 10 minutes every day or a couple of times a week. In order to properly hydrate your lawn, the sprinkler must be on for about 30 to 45 minutes, depending on the type of sprinkler you have. A stream sprinkler or a popup sprinkler will usually get the job done in about 30 minutes while a rain bird type of unit will take 45 minutes. The objective is to apply enough water onto the lawn so that you will be able to hydrate the grass 3-4 inches below the surface. This needs to be repeated about 3 times a week, depending on the weather. Watering for 5-10 minutes does not get the job done properly. Just like watering your fruit trees, you have to water long enough so the water will percolate down 3-4 inches to the bottom of the roots where grass can take in water. Once this level has been reached the grass has been hydrated properly.
If the soil has become compacted the water will not be able to flow down to the root system and will instead flow outward to the curb or the sidewalk. The next step is to aerate the ground around the yellow spot of the lawn. Once this has been accomplished, the water will now flow downward to the root system. With regular watering, the grass will start to turn a nice green in just a matter of days. Nature is truly amazing in its ability to recover once the right growing conditions have been put back in balance.
Once you learn the technique, it is easy to keep your lawn nice and green!