It’s tempting to start watering in early spring, but we’ve got news for you: it’s too soon!
This time of year, there’s usually plenty of rain to keep your lawn healthy. If you see your grass showing signs of slight drought stress, don’t worry. This will cause the roots to grow deeper in search for water. If you overwater, the roots may grow sideways instead of down, giving the turf poor root structure and promoting lawn disease. If you have newly laid sod or seeded areas, we suggest you follow the instructions given for new turf to develop.
When the weather gets warmer and dryer—around June and July—this is when you will need to water. Giving your lawn more water, less frequently is ideal for the root system. In other words, watering 3-4 times a week at 40 minutes per zone in sunny areas is more beneficial than 5-7 times a week at 20 minutes per zone. This allows the water to seep deep into the root system and gives the turf a chance to dry out in-between watering. This approach also helps prevent lawn disease, insect activity, and root damage.
If you do not have an irrigation system watering every day in the heat of the summer, by hand may not be the answer. Sometimes letting the turf go dormant while still feeding, which will add nutrients into the soil, will help it come out of dormancy greener and fuller as September’s cool weather settles in.