Assuming you have the right turf for your area, lawns succeed or fail largely based on how well they are managed. Proper watering, fertilizing and mowing make the difference between a lush green carpet and a speckled landscape more like crabgrass than a lawn. Have look at Newcastle Lawn Care.
An ideal rain gauge to accurately monitor your watering.
Improper watering is at the root of many lawn problems, especially in the West, where healthy grass depends almost entirely on sprinklers. Too little can encourage crabgrass and other weeds to thrive in dry soil. Too much can lead to disease and waste, especially in places where water is scarce.
Before planting grass, add compost or another soil improver to improve the water holding capacity of the grass.
How much water is needed
Most grasses need about 1 inch of water per week during the growing season. Lawns may need little replenishment in the humid southeast or rainy north. But you’ll need to water an extra 1 inch per week if you live in the southwest, where humidity is low and summer droughts are common. Also remember that any lawn needs more water after a hot, dry week than it needs after a cool, wet week.
Mow your lawn higher in hot weather. Tallgrass shoots provide better shade to the ground below and require less water. Taller grass also has longer roots which can absorb more water deeper in the ground.
Rain gauges are the most precise way to see how much water your lawn is getting. Place them where they’re exposed to both sprinklers and rainfall. Use several gauges around each sprinkler, then run the sprinklers for 10 minutes. If the water in the gauges measures one-quarter inch, for example, it will take 0 minutes to apply 1 inch of water. You can also measure how quickly water fountains run by placing empty soup cans around them and then measuring the amount of water inside the cans.
In rainy areas, provide hand-held sprinklers and water cannons in case of drought. Use a timer (about $25) or an auto-off to efficiently manage watering. For drier climates, you’ll save time and money with an automatic underground sprinkler system. Maximize the efficiency of these systems by using humidity and rain sensors to replace an automatic program.
Avoid waste by keeping water on sidewalks, driveways, and other tree-free areas. Use a sprinkler to water no faster than the soil can absorb. Different soils absorb water at different rates; Sandy soil absorbs quickly, clay absorbs slowly. You’ll know it’s time to stop when the water recedes from the lawn. Choose a hose or sprinkler head that’s right for your soil.
If your sprinkler is watering too quickly, only water until it overflows and then stop. Wait about 20 minutes before turning the sprinkler back on.
Water only when necessary, then water thoroughly. Roots grow deep when the ground is moist, deep roots make the grass harder and tougher. Watering deeply but infrequently also prevents pests and diseases by allowing the grass to dry completely between waterings. This equates to once or twice a week during the growing season in the West and other areas where the grass needs to be watered.
Add more water if you see any signs of dryness. Stretch marks were the main markers for all regions, indicating that the blades of grass were losing their resilience. Most lawns also have a pre-dry area. Observe this area carefully, using it as an indicator for the entire lawn.
Why morning is best
Use sprinklers early in the morning when there is little wind to blow the water away and little sunlight to evaporate the water. Morning watering also prevents pests by allowing the lawn to dry out during the day.
Water sensors can improve the efficiency of landfill sprinkler systems. The EPA’s WaterSense program includes more than 300 nationally certified landscape professionals who can design efficient irrigation systems or perform efficiency assessments on existing systems.
Lawn Fertilizer Information
A pale, greenish-yellow grass is a sign that your lawn needs more nitrogen, an important ingredient in fertilizers. Using the right fertilizer at the right time is the quickest and easiest way to provide that nitrogen so your lawn can better withstand pests and extreme temperatures and cold.
Where to start? A good first step is to test your soil’s pH by testing the soil. Achieving the right pH level (usually by adding lime) increases the effectiveness of any fertilizer. Should invest in liming in the spring rather than fertilizing.
Use a lawn-specific fertilizer formulation and follow the instructions on the label. This includes using the spreader listed on the label so you can use the recommended setting. But you will still be faced with countless options. Using the wrong type, in the wrong way can do more harm than good. Too much fertilizer can contaminate the soil and encourage pests and diseases.