Beat the Heat: How to Best Water Your Lawn & Garden

As we enter the summer season in southwest Florida, paying particular attention to how we water our yards and gardens is imperative if we want to keep a lush, green property. Learning how to most effectively water your lawn involves conserving water and watering more efficiently, both eco-friendly methods effective at keeping your grass happy while saving you money on your water bill.

The Best Time to Water Your Lawn

Most experts recommend that Sarasota and Tampa area residents run irrigation systems 2 times per week to keep most grasses and plants healthy. (Remember, if rainfall has been heavy, you may only need to water once a week.) The best thing you can do is to check your soil frequently by digging a spade into the ground near your plants. If the soil is moist 6-12” deep, then there is no need to water.

Water your lawn and gardens in the early morning. Watering at this time ensures that minimal water is lost to evaporation, and does not promote the fungal growth that watering in the evening does. Watering is most important during our dry seasons, which include April, May and October. During the rainy season, our afternoon showers do much of our watering for us. However, continue to pay attention to the weather and check your soil every couple of days for its moisture level.

How to Best Water Your Lawn

The goal of watering is to thoroughly soak the rooting area. Plants suck water up through their roots – not their leaves – so aim all water spray to the soil. The higher up from the ground you spray, the more water will never make it to the soil and will be lost to evaporation. Save water and money by keeping irrigation systems low to the ground.

To make sure that all of an area gets watered well:

  • Water slowly: A quick watering will only soak the top few inches, so your plants will concentrate all their root growth at the top of the soil. Then, a strong wind could likely knock them over. By watering deeply, you encourage greater root growth that in turn anchors your plant more securely in the ground. Drip irrigation systems that sit directly on the ground and slowly release water into the soil are an excellent way to save water and keep your garden quenched.
  • Water less-frequently, with high-volume: Water penetrates the soil in layers. If you do not apply enough water, it will only moisten the top few inches of soil. This will make the soil dry out more quickly than if it were fully watered. Soak the soil 6-12” deep for the best results. Less-frequent, high-volume watering serves your plants much better than fast, frequent waterings.

Conserve Even More Water

Here are a few quick tips on how to make your lawn as eco-friendly as possible.

  • Planting grasses and plant species native to our area means they are used to thriving on our natural rain events; therefore, they require less additional watering.
  • Mulching your garden keeps the soil cool and retains moisture. The mulch also prevents runoff during heavy rain events–our sandy soils cause water to escape quickly, so the mulch slows it down and holds the water in place.
  • Watering from a rain barrel is an excellent way to cut costs and save water. With our frequent afternoon showers, you can easily catch and store rainwater to use during a drier week. Read more on how to construct your own rain barrel here.

Big Earth Landscape Supply can provide you with the sod, fertilizer, and lawn treatments you’ll need to have a luxurious and green lawn. Shop online today, or stop by one of our 4 area locations.