This month, homeowners must adjust watering schedules and techniques as temperatures rise, precipitation increases, and growing plants provide more shade. Look out for discoloration, water differently in the shade, and aerate the soil if it is not absorbing enough water.
Ah, June. This month sees the longest days of the year and the first official day of summer. Each month brings different growing conditions, and June is no different. Homeowners must continue to adjust watering schedules and techniques as temperatures rise, precipitation increases, and growing plants provide more shade.
Proper Watering Requires Attentiveness
Proper lawn watering is more involved than presetting a sprinkler system and leaving it be. Pay attention to the condition of your lawn and make adjustments as needed. Discolored turfgrass is a sign of conditions that aren’t quite right. Don’t jump to conclusions and apply pesticide; it’s often as simple as under- or overwatering.
If you’ve noticed brown spots in your lawn, check that it receives enough water before doing anything else. Uniformly brown grass may just be dry.
Checking for dry soil doesn’t require a special method. Dig into the ground with a trowel and evaluate the earth. If it’s hot and loose, the soil is too dry.
Watch the dry areas when the irrigation system is running. Do they receive enough water? You may need to adjust the sprinkler settings or begin to target these spots with a portable sprinkler.
While yellowing grass is often associated with insufficient nutrients, diseases, and insects, it can also result from overwatering. In fact, overwatering is often the root cause (no pun intended) of many other turfgrass problems.
Overwatering not only waterlogs the soil, limiting the oxygen supply, but it can damage the roots and cause root rot. A shallow root system will not absorb sufficient nutrients, water, and oxygen. In addition, too much water to the lawn can reduce the resistance of the turfgrass and lead to insect infestations and fungal diseases.
Adjust your watering schedule, cutting back if you notice yellowing blades. Confirm the irrigation recommendations for your grass type. Hold off on watering after periods of rain. Check the top two inches of soil and only water if it is dry.
Watering in the Shade
Shaded areas have different watering requirements than does the grass in full sun. In general, shaded grass absorbs water more slowly and does not need as frequent watering.
However, grass that is shaded by trees, not buildings, is a different story. These areas receive less rainwater since they are blocked by the tree’s canopy and compete for water with the tree’s root system. It may be counterintuitive, but you should irrigate these spots more frequently.
Aeration Helps Water Reach Roots
Compacted soil can prevent grass roots from receiving adequate water (and air and nutrients). When facing any stress on top of this deprivation, the lawn may become unhealthy and discolored. Aerating creates holes in the soil to allow for the flow of air and nutrients and facilitate necessary water penetration.
There are three main types of aerators: spike, slicing, and core aerators. We recommend slicing or core aerators, as they create space for the movement of water, oxygen, and nutrients without further compacting the soil.