It’s hot. And your lawn is thirsty. You’ve kept up with keeping your lawn which and green so far this summer. Now is not the time to slack off! August is the perfect time to recommit to watering your lawn properly so that all that hard work doesn’t turn into a brittle brown mess.
For some of you, this may be a refresher course. To those of you new to lawn care or the extreme North Texas weather this may be brand new. Either way, here’s a simple guide to how to keep your North Texas lawn luscious and green.
How Much Water, How Often?
At the very least, your North Texas lawn needs a minimum of 1 inch of water weekly during the summer months. For best results, water your lawn deeply and infrequently. Most North Texas lawns are comprised of clay soil. You want to wet the soil to a 3-4″ depth so that there is enough reserve moisture in the soil to last for 3-4 days.
Although rare, you may have sandy soil in your North Texas lawn. This will need to be watered more often (every 2-3 days). You will still watering to the 3-4” depth, but less water will be required to get there.
Deeply watering your lawn two days a week rather than doing a light sprinkling daily encourages stronger, healthier roots. This will also save you some time and frustration as you won’t need to be tending to it every day.
Midnight to 9 Am Is the Best Time to Water Your Grass
Do not water midday during hot, dry weather. Much of the water will evaporate before being absorbed into the soil which won’t benefit your lawn or your water bill.
After midnight is the best time to start watering. If you apply water to a lawn that is still too hot after a long day of summer heat, you will promote the spread of disease.
Ignore our suggested guidelines about watering times if your entire lawn shows symptoms of drought. Then you will need to water it immediately no matter what the time of day.
If there are yellow patches in the grass, do not increase the amount of water you use, as this will only make your problems worse. Large yellow sections of lawn usually point to a sprinkler head issue.
Drought is not uncommon during Texas summers. Because of this, your city or neighborhood may have predetermined watering schedules. Be mindful of respecting their schedules while you are caring for your lawn.
Different Types of Grass Have Different Needs
Keep these guidelines in mind as each variety of grass has different tolerances for heat and water.
This common choice for yards is rather vulnerable to lawn diseases and pests that Texas summers can bring. It requires a lot of water to stay healthy.
Bermuda grass thrives in the sun and is very resistant to drought. It can still grow well even with very little watering.
This Texas native is very drought-tolerant, but without adequate watering, it will start to brown later in the summer.
Zoysia is a drought-resistant grass that can survive without excessive watering. It will even stay lush even in the shade.
Summer Dormancy Happens
Dormancy is a mechanism developed by nature to help plants survive stressful conditions. Summer dormancy occurs in a lawn when grasses are exposed to an extended period of heat and not enough water during mid-summer. This type of severe stress may cause a lawn to stop growing temporarily.
When this happens, the leaves and stems of grass plants usually turn brown and crowns, and buds stop growing. The lawn will look like it is dead or dying only in certain areas. When cooler temperatures and adequate moisture return, grasses will typically begin to grow again.
With proper care, the lawn will return to a healthy state unless you have experienced an elongated period of heat and drought during which some plants may have died.
If St Augustine or Zoysia lawns go severely dormant during extended drought periods, portions of the lawn will die and may not recover. Bermuda lawns should survive summer dormancy without any problems.
If You Have an Irrigation System
It may seem counter-intuitive but avoid overwatering. A common mistake made with irrigation systems is applying too much water on a 1-2 day interval basis. This can lead to disease problems and excessive weed growth.
Make adjustments to your timer if it rains and make sure that when the rainy season starts, you adjust your watering schedule accordingly. Watering your lawn while its raining or back to back with rainy days wastes water and offers no additional benefits to your lawn.
Have you ever noticed a lot of run-offs while you were watering? Or it doesn’t seem like the water is really sinking into the lawn? Here is a simple suggestion for an evenly watered lawn using your irrigation system:
Run each zone for 5-minutes at a time. Repeat the process four times at 2-hour intervals. The 2-hour interval allows the water to be absorbed by the clay soil before applying another application of water. If you allow a zone to run for longer than 5 minutes, you will just end up with runoff and waste water.
If you follow these basics guidelines, then your lawn should weather the final summer days well. But we do recognize that there is an art to watering and keeping a luscious lawn.
If your lawn isn’t looking the way you want it to or keeping up with it is just too much, we’re here to help. Set up a consultation today and our team of Complete Landsculpture experts will work with you to evaluate what you lawn needs and how those needs can best be delivered in the most efficient and straightforward way possible.