Watering grass tips! Getting back to green in Northwest Indiana.

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The summer’s drought is real. From June 1 through August 30, Northwest Indiana had roughly 5.5 inches of rain total. Of that rain, only 5 days have had more than 1/2 inch. So maybe 5 halfway beneficial spots of rain.

With temps above 85° 40 times, we have a whole lot of brown lawns out there. The amount of rain required to keep your lawn green is 1 to 1 1/2 inches per week for cool-season grasses- depending upon grass types in the lawn.

What does that mean over the span of 13 weeks? We are chasing 8 to 14 inches of rain, and your lawn is telling you. We are running a marathon and the grass plant (85-90% water) has been given enough for a 40-yard dash.

How to keep lawn green in summer heat. 10 tips for Surviving the August drought in NWI

The secret to getting your lawn green in Northwest Indiana is this…

If you want to see your lawn recover, give it the love it needs. Water your lawn properly based upon soil type.

While the rain we received on September 1st helped, it’s far from giving your lawn the right water and nutrients necessary to be ready for winter.

 Perma-Green believes every lawn’s watering and treatment solutions should be assessed and customized. However, with the severe conditions, the below articles and the Perma-Green watering guide will help you get in the ballpark. Best practice solutions for recovery also include late summer treatments blended with correlated water recommendations. Fill free to call us for a free analysis and estimate. Perma-Green includes watering and mowing consultation with all paid services.

-Steve Daly

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Common mistakes that can ruin even the best lawn care programs include mowing too low, watering too little or too much, or ignoring early signs of insects or disease.

Perma-Greens guide to watering lawns in Northwest Indiana

Clay Soils:  You want to water 1 time per week (every 5-7 days) for a total of 1 ½ inches of water per week.  Length of time per watering is based on your water pressure output.  If you do not have a rain gauge, you may use any type of catch container (tin can) to get a measurement.  It is always best to water for longer periods of time and less frequent.  You want to replicate 1 good rainfall each week.  Early mornings (between 4 a.m. & 8 a.m.) are the best time to water.

 

Sandy Soils: Same as with clay soils, you want to water a total of 1 ½ inches per week.  However, with sandy soils you can water a little more frequent (every 3 days). Length of time per watering is based on your water pressure output.  If you do not have a rain gauge, you may use any type of catch container (tin can) to get a measurement.  Early mornings (between 4 a.m. & 8 a.m.) are the best time to water.

 

Loam Soils: You want to water 1 time per week (every 5 days) for a total of 1 ½ inches of water per week.  Length of time per watering is based on your water pressure output.  If you do not have a rain gauge, you may use any type of catch container (tin can) to get a measurement.  It is always best to water for longer periods of time and less frequent.  You want to replicate 1 good rainfall each week.  Early mornings (between 4 a.m. & 8 a.m.) are the best time to water.

 

New Seedings: A newly seeded lawn will need to be watered 2-4 times per day – the seed bed should be moistened to a depth of 1-2 inches but not saturated.  As the seed germinates and seedlings begin to grow, it is essential that the new seedlings are not allowed to dry out.  Continue to water 2-4 times per day if the weather conditions are dry.  When the seedlings reach 2 inches in height, gradually start to reduce the frequency of watering and water more deeply.  After the new turf has been mowed 2-3 times, deep & infrequent watering should be practiced.  Follow watering guidelines for your soil conditions.

 

New Sod: A newly sodded lawn will require water 1 or 2 times per day.  Sod should be watered so that the sod strip is wet the entire thickness and the soil underneath is moist to the depth of 1 inch.  Overwatering sod is a common mistake.  Do not saturate the soil below the sod.  This will inhibit roots from growing into the soil.  As sod becomes established and roots penetrate and grow, gradually reduce the frequency of watering but wet the soil to a greater depth.  After sod has been mowed 3-4 times, deep & infrequent watering should be practiced.  Follow watering guidelines for your soil conditions.

 

Sloped or Compacted Areas: Slopes or areas with soil compaction are often difficult to irrigate without water run-off.  On these areas it is important not to apply water faster than it can be absorbed.  One possible method is to irrigate a slope for a period of time until the water just begins to run off and then stop.  Allow the water to infiltrate into the soil and then water the area again until run-off just begins.  Repeat this cycle several times until the soil is wet to a depth of 6 inches.

 

Dormancy: In extended droughts where a lawn is not watered, the lawn will wilt and the leaves will turn brown.  These lawns are not dead; the turf is in a dormant condition.  Dormancy is a natural survival mechanism of the turf plant.  The leaves are dead but the crown (growing point) and the root system remain alive.  The grass plant loses water through its leaves.  When the leaves are dead, little water is lost which conserves water and allows the crown and root system to remain alive.  Turf can survive 4-6 weeks in a dormant condition without a significant thinning of turf upon return of favorable moisture conditions.

 

**The grass plant is 85% water – Proper Watering and Mowing on the highest setting (min. 3 inches) plays a huge factor in the health of your lawn!**

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