Proper watering is the second most important thing you can do to help your lawn look good.
We want you to water in such a manner as to strengthen and deepen the root system of your lawn. Normally it is not necessary to water your lawn from October through to the beginning of our Spring dry period in May. This normal Spring drought period is good for relieving the high water tables caused by excessive rainfall in Late Winter. It is best to go along and not water during most of the drought because letting the soil dry out will bring air back into the soil which will help stop the root rot caused by the stagnation of excess wetness.
Field capacity is when the soil is completely saturated with water and no air is present. If your lawn stays wet too long the soil will stagnate driving out all of the air. As your soil dries out air will be brought back into the soil. Remember, lawns cannot take up water unless air is present in the soil. Stagnated soils kill the lawn. Flooded areas will also kill the lawn from stagnation and blocking the light which stops the lawn’s ability to manufacture food.
If the ground moisture stays high too long the roots will become shallow and surface oriented. The lower roots rot and die. Sometimes droughts occur immediately after this has occurred and causes the lawns to die by shock. It is best to gradually allow your lawn to dry out. Excessive heat combined with saturated soils can cause steaming so it is best to not water in the middle of the day, during the heat of the Summer. Morning watering is always best. This will allow your lawn to dry out before nightfall.
It is best to not water in the evening because this will leave your lawn with still (not moving) water on the leaf blades which can contribute to disease formation.
In the Summer when the lawn turns brown, you can water in one spot all night long. This moving water will not allow infection to develop because of the cleansing effect of the movement. You only want to do this to break the drought. Then you go back to regular morning watering.
When you water it is better to water deeply in a given area and not too frequently. Light frequent waterings cause shallow surface oriented roots which is not healthy. Allow your lawn to dry between waterings to increase the depth and health of your root system.
Normally watering one to two hours in one spot is best. Do this only during dry periods and depending on how hot and dry it is you may want to do it once or twice each week.
If disease activity is present do not water because most diseases require water to survive. If you have St.Augustine grass be sure to pay attention to your watering because it is so prone to disease.
If you have an irrigation system leave it off in the Winter. During the heat of the summer, you can turn it back on and water for about 20-30 minutes 2 or 3 times per week. Please do not water every day.