Florida summers are notorious for their heat and blazing sunshine – but we also receive a lot of daily rain. In order to keep lawns green and beautiful, Homeowners often wonder just how much water the grass needs – after all, too much water is as detrimental as too little water. While lawn irrigation is rarely an exact science, there are definite signs of both over-watered and drought-stressed grass. Use these basic tips and best practices to maintain a healthy lawn this summer.
Florida Lawn Irrigation Facts You Should Know
Irrigation frequency will vary somewhat based on your type of grass, how much rainfall you receive, soil type and if the lawn is shaded.
- How many times should I water my lawn weekly to withstand a Florida summer?Assuming no rainfall, you will want to make sure to water your lawn 2-4 times per week in our climate. Your lawn will need approximately 3/4 inch of water to saturate the soil, several times per week.
- If it rains, do I still have to water? Florida rainstorms are often intense, but brief. If a storm is intense but brief, water may not have a chance to soak into the soil and reach the roots before it runs off or is evaporated. Therefore if you are experiencing severe rain bursts in the heat of the afternoon, it may not be effectively irrigating your lawn.
- Should I use a timed irrigation system? Although timers and schedules are convenient, if you are living in the home during the summer it may be better to turn off the scheduled waterings. Not only may you be wasting water if the lawn does not need watering, but you may damage your lawn with too much water. By monitoring your lawn and watering only if needed, you will have a healthier lawn while being environmentally friendly.
- Does it matter when I water my lawn? If your lawn is needing water, the best time to water is in the early morning just before daybreak. If you water after the sun rises, the heat will cause the water to evaporate too quickly, making the effort useless.
What are Signs of a Distressed Lawn?
As stated, both over-watering and under-watering can cause your lawn to suffer. Familiarize yourself with signs of both in order to adjust your watering frequency accordingly.
- Signs of an Over-Watered Lawn: There are several warning signs that your lawn needs to dry out. These include patches of aggressive thatch which is not breaking down as usual; and fungus growth, whether that appears as mushrooms or on grass blades. You may notice breeding insects around areas with standing water which did not saturate. Brown patches on an otherwise healthy lawn may also indicate that your lawn’s soil is getting too saturated without the opportunity to dry out.
- Signs of a Drought-Stressed Lawn: Your thirsty lawn may appear less green than usual, and individual blades of grass often begin t fold into themselves to reduce surface area. If mower tracks or footprints do not “Spring back within a minute or so, your grass needs more water. Of course, a tell-tale sign of drought-stressed grass is crunchy blades which are withering and brown.
If you have questions as to which lawn care products are best for your Florida lawn – no matter the season – stop by Big Earth Landscape Supply. Our experts can help you to ascertain the best way to care for your specific type of grass and topography. We are here to help you have the most beautiful lawn in the neighborhood!