The rising temperatures of spring mean that lawns and landscaping plants need more water than in winter, but the lack of daily summer rains can make this a challenge. Make a plan to provide your landscaping with the right amount of water this month.
Daily rains won’t be here until June-ish, but it’s already heating up. In south and central Florida, temperatures have begun to reach the high 80’s and low 90’s! The return of higher temps means that our lawns and landscaping plants need more water than they did during the winter, but daily rains are too far away to depend on right now.
Proper springtime watering isn’t difficult, but this season requires homeowners to pay attention to how much water the landscaping is receiving and to take steps to provide the right amount. Take a look at our general guidelines for best irrigation practices this month.
Watering Your Lawn
We’ve all seen that beautiful home on the property with unfortunate expanses of brown, dry grass. When it comes to curb appeal and what neighbors and potential buyers think of your home, the difference between a thriving lawn and a struggling one is huge.
Follow these guidelines to keep your turfgrass looking lush and lively:
- Consult your local UF IFAS Extension office or another trustworthy resource to determine how much watering is recommended in your region.
- Use your local information to guide your irrigation schedule, but remember the rule of thumb is to water twice a week.
- Be aware of the amount of water a sprinkler system should provide. No matter the time of year, sprinklers should deliver ½ inch to ¾ inch each time they run.
- Do not schedule sprinklers to run in the middle of the day, or much of the water will evaporate. Make sure to program watering to complete before 10 in the morning.
Keep in mind that every property is different. Your lawn’s needs depend on your region, how much sun and shade the turf receives, grass type, wind exposure, fertilization schedule, and mowing frequency. Do some research or speak to your local landscaping company to make the best irrigation plan.
Hand-Watering Other Landscape Plants
Now that you’ve got the lawn covered, make a plan for the rest of your landscaping! Trees, border hedges, and plants in containers and garden beds all need proper hydration, just like turfgrass.
Here’s our advice for watering your landscape plants:
- Check to ensure that sprinkler streams reach garden beds close to the house, hedges and other plants lining the property, and any plants blocked by something like a fence, bench, HVAC unit, etc.
- Note the plants that do not receive water from the sprinklers and make a hand-watering schedule.
- Three times a week, water indoor herbs, hanging ferns, container plants, and the like.
The hardest part of proper watering is remembering to do it! Mark your calendar or set a reminder on your phone so that you give your plants the regular water that they need. Check on plants throughout the week to ensure they are not too wet nor too dry and adjust your watering schedule accordingly.
While regular watering is essential, be careful not to water too much or too often. Soil should become somewhat dry between watering so that roots grow deeper and develop a stronger system. Overwatering can make plants and turf vulnerable to disease, cause thatch buildup, and reduce stress tolerance.
Rainy Season is Approaching
Before we know it, the daily rains of summer will be here. Water regularly as temperatures rise through springtime, and plan to reassess the delivery schedule in a month or so.