Water plays a key role in lawn and garden care. Without water, there would be no lawns or gardens. Nature doesn't always supply enough water, so your landscape may need a little help from you.
Watering Tips for Your Lawn and Garden
Wise water use is one sign of a good gardener. Follow these tips to keep your lawn and garden adequately watered:
- When choosing plants for the landscape, look at the plant tag for water requirements. Group plants with similar water needs to maximize water resources.
- Be observant. Watch for signs of plants in need of water. Take extra care to water newly planted shrubs, trees and lawns. Even plants that are considered drought-tolerant need steady watering for the first 1-2 years in order to get established.
- Retain soil moisture by using mulch around vegetables, annuals and shrubs. Keep weeds pulled from planting beds. They compete for moisture and nutrients.
- To minimize evaporation and fungal diseases, water only in the early morning. However, if you see that the lawn or garden is becoming stressed or endangered from lack of water, go ahead and water without delay. Avoid watering with sprinklers on windy days.
- Water lawns irregularly, rather than on a strict weekly schedule. This replicates natural weather patterns and helps make lawns more drought-tolerant.
- For best growth, water trees and large shrubs at the drip line.
- For smaller plants, use soaker hoses and drip irrigation to deliver water directly to the base of the plant where it's needed.
- To promote root growth, water deeply and allow soil to dry slightly between waterings. A strong root system creates hardier turfgrass. Light, shallow sprinklings evaporate before water is able to saturate the soil where it's needed.
- Mow at the recommended height for your type of turfgrass. Cutting grass too close stresses the plant. Letting grass grow too tall increases the chance of disease.
- Remove lawn thatch and aerate when needed to increase the soil's water absorption.
- Consider xeriscaping™. Xeriscaping incorporates wise water use into the landscape without sacrificing beauty and color.
- If you have an underground sprinkler system, keep it adjusted and well-maintained.
- Locate and remedy any spots that are prone to erosion. Runoff water does no one any good.
- Water expands as it freezes. If you live in a freeze area, at the end of the season you should drain hoses, water timers and sprinklers before the first frost. Store them where they won't freeze.
Be sure to observe any water-use ordinances or restrictions for your area.
Watering Equipment Guide
You'll need the proper equipment to water your lawn and garden: