Let's address some great questions we have been receiving lately regarding watering our lawns.
As far as frequency, we are still trying to train our roots to drive as deep as possible, so we want to be watering deeply and infrequently still. Everyone's situation is different, I can get away with watering every 8-9 days, but I receive very little wind and have a lot of shade in my neck of the woods. But a general rule of thumb is to water approximately an inch per week right now. During the month of May, fescue generally will transpire roughly an 1/10 of an inch per day. As the temperature increases and the windier it is, the more the grass will lose. So if you are watering 1/2 inch every 3 days or so, you should be okay until it warms up.
We definitely want to avoid watering every day. Daily watering promotes a very shallow root system and will lead to problems throughout the summer. As the temperature increase, the soil temperature increase as well, especially in the top 2 inches of the soil. So, when you water too much, the roots remain in the top few inches of your soil instead of growing deeper where the soil temperature is cooler. Air temperatures are important in regards to the function of our grass, but even more important is the soil temperature and the roots of our cool season grass. So proper watering in the spring is crucial to help promote the overall health of your grass throughout the summer.
In regards to the time of day to water, we are beyond the days of sub-freezing temperatures.....we hope. So now is the time to set your irrigation to start watering early in the morning, preferably completing your watering cycle prior to the sunrise. With the temperatures rising, the potential of fungus will be following closely behind as well. So if possible, water before the sun comes up if you can, but definitely avoid evening watering!
One last thing in regards to your watering schedule, another good practice to get into that will really help the overall health of your turf, is ensuring that you are not watering the day before or the day of that you typically mow. This allows the soil to dry down a little before getting on the turf and eliminates some of the compaction that comes with the weight of your lawn mowers. This is especially important if you are using a riding mower.
Please let us know if you have any questions regarding your irrigation, and again, we are truly thankful for the opportunity each of you have given us and let us know if there is anything we can do to improve our services to you! Thank you again and God Bless!!