Best Watering Practices for Your Seacoast Lawn
With the dog days of summer directly upon us, most of us think the best way to care for our lawn is to water it every day, especially during long bouts of sunshine and no rain. But doing so may not be the best option for your turf. In fact, it may be doing more harm than good, wasting tons of water and costing you a hefty utility bill. How can you maintain thick, green grass all summer long without breaking the bank? Allegro Lawn is here to help you answer these questions and ensure you have a healthy, sustainable lawn all summer while conserving water and saving money.
Types of Grass in the Seacoast
Here in the Seacoast, we mainly have what are termed cool-season grasses. These grasses are more suited for the cooler weather we experience in the northeast and perfect for our cold winters and warm, humid summers. This is because they typically green up early in the spring, remain inactive when the summer is at its hottest, thrive in the fall, and enter dormancy when soil temperatures drop below 45 degrees.
Some of the most common cool-season grasses include:
- Kentucky bluegrass
- Fine fescue
- Tall fescue
- Perennial ryegrass
How Often Do I Water Cool-Season Grasses?
How do we keep our cool-season grasses watered without oversaturating them or driving up the costs of your utility bills? Generally, cool-season turfs need approximately 1-2 inches of water per week during the hottest time of the year. This includes amounts accumulated through rainfall. Contrary to what most of us think, it's better to water your cool-season grass less often and for longer periods of time. In fact, it's recommended that instead of watering your lawn several times throughout the week, you water it very deeply 1-2 times per week during the spring and fall and 2-3 times per week in the heat of summer. Doing so will moisten your soil 4-6 inches below the surface and help the roots grow deeper and stronger, strengthening them against drought and various diseases.
What Is the Best Time of Day To Water My Grass?
The best time to water your grass is between 4 a.m. and 8 a.m. before the sun has time to create a loss of moisture due to evaporation. Never water an established lawn during the day, evening, or night.
General Rules for Watering Your Lawn
There are other general rules you can follow to help keep your turf from drying out, such as the height you mow your grass and the type of sprinklers you use. When mowing your lawn, cut your grass to a minimum height of 3 inches and always use sharp blades. Mowing your grass a little higher can help shade not only the roots but the soil surface as well, reducing the amount of moisture lost to evaporation. Here at Allegro Lawn, we are fans of the 4-inch mow during the heat of summer and a nice cut back of 3 inches for a final fall mow.
General rules to follow when it comes to watering your grass include:
- If utilizing sprinklers, adjust them, so they water only your grass and are not wasted irrigating sidewalks and driveways.
- Use sprinklers that spray large water droplets as opposed to fine ones.
- Use handheld hoses for plants, shrubs, and small trees.
- Don’t rely on a fixed watering schedule. Irrigate only when necessary. Overwatering can be just as bad as not providing enough moisture, promoting disease and fungal growth.
Pay Attention to What Your Grass Is Telling You
And while we understand taking care of your yard is time-consuming, the best thing you can do for your lawn is to pay attention to its needs. If your turf begins to turn grayish-blue or your footprints become visible in the grass, it probably needs a drink of water. Using a spade or gardening tool, you can also try testing your soil conditions. Insert the spade 2-6 inches below the surface. If the soil comes out flaky and dry, your grass needs hydration.
For All Your Lawn Care Needs, Contact the Professionals at Allegro Lawn
Allegro Lawn has been providing lawn care services to the Seacoast area since 2001. We are committed to excellence and providing our customers with an easy-to-manage lawn care service, including everything from lawn fertilization programs and weed control to aeration and overseeding. We offer three unique lawn care programs, including our premier plan, our hybrid-organic program, and our 5-part standard program.