Just as humans need water to survive, so do lawns. But as we know, not every lawn is created equally. Your lawn in the Dallas, TX, area has different watering needs than, say, a lawn in Minneapolis, MN, does.
Here are five watering tips to help ensure that your Dallas lawn stands up to the North Texas elements — and to the scrutiny of your neighbors.
1. Pay Attention to Frequency.
Most grass types need just an inch of water per week, according to Southern Methodist University (SMU) in Dallas. That water can be delivered as 1 inch just once during the week or as half an inch twice during the week, depending on local watering restrictions. Keep in mind that bermuda and zoysia grasses need half as much water as St. Augustine grass.
2. Use a Water “Yardstick.”
An easy way to measure how much water is going on your grass is to place a 6-ounce tuna can on your lawn. When the can is full, you’ve applied enough water, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) says.
If you start to notice runoff before the can is full, turn off the water, TCEQ suggests. Then, hold off about an hour to let the grass soak up the water, resume watering the grass and stop when the tuna can fills up.
3. Don’t Drown Your Lawn.
Applying water too rapidly causes runoff, as grass can absorb only so much water at a time, TCEQ says. When runoff happens, soil, fertilizers and pesticides can wind up in nearby waterways. Also, over-irrigation can push nutrients deep into the soil and away from plant roots.
4. Watch the Clock.
Water early in the morning, before 10 a.m., TCEQ recommends. Watering from midmorning to late afternoon can cause one-third of your water to evaporate. Also, avoid watering in the evening, as lawns left wet overnight are more susceptible to diseases.
5. Take a Gander at the Grass.
Monitor your lawn for signs of stress, such as wilting and discoloration, TCEQ says. When you first spot wilting, you’ve got 24 to 48 hours to act before your lawn is seriously damaged.
“The key to watering lawns is to apply water infrequently, yet thoroughly. This creates a deep, well-rooted lawn that efficiently uses the water that is stored in the soil,” TCEQ says.
Looking for lawn care service in the Dallas area? Visit www.lawnstarter.com/dallas-tx-lawn-care.
Photo: Flickr/Megan Hemphill