How to irrigate your lawn in summer and save water
18. 8. 2017
A representative lawn for instance in Europe needs on average 25 to 40 litres of water per week per one square meter (11 square feet). This includes natural rainfall. The need for water differs radically between sunny and shady areas. If your lawn is on a sunny place and gets 15 litres of water per week, it is far less than it needs. Then it is logical that it is not looking its best and the probability of various problems increases.
5 tips how to take good care of your lawn before the irrigation itself:
- Mow with a sharp mower, ideally with a cylinder one. The shorter and cleaner the cut into a grass blade is, the less water evaporates from it. If you are using a rotary mower, make sure to sharpen its blade at least once a month.
- Do not trim the grass by more than 1/3 of its original length during one mowing. A thin grass without blades dries out faster than a short and dense one.
- Aerify the lawn once a year. By creating holes in the grass and sanding them, the ability to absorb water into the root layer improves radically. Thanks to the holes, the root system expands deeper, which allows it to use water from bigger depth.
- It is necessary to get the water to the roots, not just to irrigate the surface. Make sure to water your lawn between 4 am and 6 am. This will prevent the water from evaporating and the lawn will dry quickly after the irrigation, which makes it less prone to moulds and diseases.
- Make sure to verticut your lawn at least 3 times a year. Rake or scarify out the old felted grass. Without an easy access to water, air, nutrients and light, the grass will not be able to grow properly, offshoot and create a root system that is a base of a healthy and green turf.
The irrigation should be even on the entire surface of the lawn. Every square meter should get its dose of water. The amount of liquid should be sufficient to get soaked in. Therefore, it is better to irrigate an older lawn 2 to 3 times per week with a higher intensity, rather than bit by bit every day.
Sprinklers generally dose water with varying intensity depending on the distance. With the help of rain gauges, find out how your lawn is watered in various places and move the sprinklers accordingly. Automatic irrigation systems should be set up correctly upon their installation, yet it is useful to check the amount of water irrigating the lawn (e.g. during 5 minutes) with a rain gauge. It is possible to reprogram the regulation of the automatic irrigation system. Apart from saving water, you will soon find out that some spots are not overwatered or drying out anymore.
Lack of water in drier areas must not necessarily be a problem. Try to choose drought-tolerant grass varieties, such as fescue, and overseed your lawn with those regularly, even twice a year. In one to two seasons, these plants will predominate and your lawn will be more drought-resistant, it will have less problems with regeneration and will be lush and green for the rest of the year.