Many homeowners don’t know how to irrigate their lawns properly. The most common mistake is overwatering, which can seriously damage, or even kill, a lawn. It increases a lawn’s vulnerability to diseases, insects and weeds; increases thatch; reduces tolerance for environmental stress; leads to a shallow root system; and encourages excessive growth.
The Florida IFAS Extension (Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences) says you should let your lawn tell you when it needs water. This means turning your irrigation system off, and turning it on only when the lawn is showing signs of drought stress.
Below are some signs that irrigation is required:
- Footprints remain visible. When tire tracks or footprints are still visible on the lawn long after they were made, this is a sign of drought stress.
- The color of a lawn that needs irrigation turns from green to blue-gray.
- A drought-stressed lawn will curl up its leaf blades in an effort to minimize the leaf area:
Wilting occurs more on the older leaves because the young ones have not yet developed fully, and might look wilted even if they are not.
The frequency of irrigation is regulated in many parts of Florida by Water Management Districts. Go to dep.state.fl.us for more information. Also, be aware that irrigation is not required as frequently as the regulations permit. As we’ve said already, let your lawn tell you when it’s thirsty.
To find out how to teach your lawn to become drought-tolerant, and to learn more about irrigation, visit hort.ifas.ufl.edu.
If you need proper lawn irrigation in Central Florida, contact us at Evolve Professional Landscape Management. We offer quality services at affordable prices. Give us a call today for a free estimate!