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How to Water Your Lawn in the Summer

Many homeowners aim to maintain to keep their lawns hydrated in the midst of summer heat, which can lead to overwatering in an attempt to cool the grass. However, improper watering can cause drought or disease.

Lawns typically need about 1 inch of water per week, including rainfall. morning to reduce disease risk and allow absorption before heat. For most grasses, 1-2 weekly waterings of 25-30 minutes should provide the needed 1 inch, adjusting based on your system and soil type. Here are some common questions about correct summer irrigation practices.

How much water does my lawn need during the summer? 

Warm and cool season grasses like zoysia, St. Augustine, bermuda, centipede grass, bluegrass and fescue need around 1 inch of water weekly, including rain. To measure this, perform a simple irrigation audit by placing various containers, like tuna cans, across your lawn zones. Run your irrigation or sprinkler until these containers collect about an inch of water, adjusting as necessary for even lawn watering.

When should I water my lawn during the summer? 

In summer, water your lawn early in the morning for longer, less frequent periods. This reduces dew duration on grass blades, aiding in disease management and ensuring the grass absorbs water before daytime heat.

How often should I water my lawn during the summer?

For most warm and cool season grasses, 1-2 weekly waterings should provide the recommended 1 inch of water. However, the amount of water delivered by your irrigation system is a key factor in determining watering frequency.

To optimize your lawn watering, it’s important to conduct an irrigation audit. This will inform you of how much water your lawn receives per watering, allowing you to adjust the frequency as needed to meet the 1-inch weekly requirement.

For how long should I water my lawn during the summer? 

Typically, lawn irrigation periods during summer should last 25-30 minutes. However, this duration can vary significantly based on several factors:

Irrigation System Output

The amount of water delivered by your specific irrigation system or sprinklers is a key consideration. An irrigation audit can help determine the actual output.

Soil Type and Water Holding Capacity

  • Sandy soils have low water holding capacity, so longer watering periods may be needed to meet the 1-inch weekly requirement.
  • Clay or loamy soils have higher water holding capacity, requiring shorter watering periods to prevent waterlogging.

The optimal irrigation duration for your lawn will depend on conducting an audit and understanding your specific soil conditions. Adjusting the watering schedule accordingly will help ensure your lawn receives the recommended 1 inch of weekly water.

How do I know if my lawn needs more water?

Even with an irrigation audit, it can be challenging to determine if your lawn is receiving adequate water. Signs of drought include thinning, yellowing, or browning grass blades, as well as slower growth.

Some drought-tolerant grasses like EMPIRE® Zoysia may go dormant to preserve themselves, while other lawns may die if underwatered. Distinguishing drought from disease can be difficult, as both can cause yellowing or discoloration of grass blades. However, there are some key differences:

  • Disease often appears in irregular, circular spots of varying size.
  • The center of disease-affected areas will be dead, with a lighter ring around the edges as the fungus spreads.
  • Overwatering creates conditions favorable for disease outbreaks.
  • Checking soil moisture can help identify drought (dry soil) vs. overwatering (damp soil).

For more information on identifying and managing common lawn diseases, see the resource “Identifying Common Lawn Diseases“.Closely monitoring your lawn’s appearance and soil conditions can help you determine if adjustments to your watering schedule are needed.

Grass With Disease Spreading

How do I keep my lawn cool in the summer? 

As temperatures rise, it may be tempting to overwater lawns. However, this can actually promote disease outbreaks, especially in shaded areas.If the lawn shows signs of heat stress, such as scorched or brown spots, consider adding a light layer of top dressing to provide shade and cooling.

But be cautious, as a thick layer of dark-colored compost can actually contribute to heating if left on the grass for too long. Excess use of top dressing can also smother the grass, so moderation is key. Monitor your lawn closely and make adjustments to watering and shading as needed to maintain healthy growth during hot weather.

How do I properly water newly installed sod during the summer?

Watering new sod requires a different approach than an established lawn:

  • For the first 9 days, water twice daily (morning and evening).
  • From days 10-12, water once per day.
  • From days 13-15, water every other day.
  • After day 16, transition to 1 inch of water per week.

Be vigilant for disease outbreaks, especially in shady areas. Fungus can spread in irregular circular patterns. Resist the urge to overwater, as this can exacerbate disease.Proper fertilization is also crucial during establishment. The Lawnifi® New Lawn Starter Box provides the nutrients new sod needs.

New Lawn Starter Box

Lawnifi is a liquid fertilizer program powered by Catalyst Technology. For optimal results, feed your lawn monthly during the active growing season (spring, summer, fall). Simply attach a hose to the sprayer top and apply evenly to your lawn. 2 BOTTLES OF GROW 1 BOTTLE OF MAINTAIN

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How do I water my lawn during the summer? – Answered

Lawns typically need about 1 inch of water per week, including rainfall. Conduct an irrigation audit to determine the proper watering duration. Water early in the morning to reduce disease risk and allow absorption before heat.

For most grasses, 1-2 weekly waterings of 25-30 minutes should provide the needed 1 inch, adjusting based on your system and soil type. Signs of underwatering include thinning, yellowing,or browning grass. Distinguish drought from disease by looking for irregular circular spots with dead centers.

Overwatering can also promote disease, so monitor soil moisture.Lightly top the lawn with a thin layer of light-colored material to help keep it cool. Proper watering and maintenance will help your lawn thrive in summer.

Be sure to check out our series of Summer Lawn Maintenance Tips if you haven’t already! Each blog is filled with summer lawn care tips, tricks and advice for each grass type.

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