The Importance Of Water On Lawns This Time Of The Year
In the midst of Hurricane Matthew, we find ourselves in somewhat of a drought here in West Tennessee and parts of Missouri. These dry conditions over an extended period of time can affect your lawn in more ways than one. Here are 3 very important reasons your lawn needs water in order to thrive in its beauty and health.
The first reason your lawn needs water is simply to merely stay alive. Remember, your lawn is a living organism that needs food and water to survive. Therefore, it is imperative for your lawn to receive adequate amounts of precipitation to survive let alone thrive.
Secondly, all lawn applications need water to activate products. This includes all herbicides and fertilizer. Pre-Emergents are affected by dry conditions due to not allowing it to be evenly being distributed across the soil to consistently prevent weed germination. In dry conditions, Pre-Emergent control is more likely to be spotty. Post-emergent herbicides are also affected in dry conditions. The plant in dry conditions conserves water and nutrients throughout the plant and closes its leaf pores to protect itself. Consequently, by doing so, the plant will prohibit the herbicides from being absorbed as well. Once rainfall occurs the plant is more likely to open back up its pores and take in water as well as the herbicides assuming they are still available.
Lastly, this time of year is ideal for seeding or overseeding your cool season grasses, such as fescue and rye grass. Most appropriate overseedings for cool season grasses consist of aerating the soil and selecting the correct type of seed along with a starter fertilizer to help with germination. Lime or elemental sulfur also needs to be applied if the soil analysis calls for it. Lack of moisture can certainly affect all areas of the overseeding process. The current dry conditions we are experiencing makes it difficult for an aerator to pull good plugs of soil which hinders relieving compaction. It also prohibits breaking up the soil which will help with germination. And finally, it is imperative that the seed and fertilizer applied receives sufficient water for good germination.
So what do we do?
If your lawn has been treated with a Pre/Post-Emergent, give it a good drink. Water all areas to allow the herbicides to be evenly distributed across the lawn. One good soaking should take care of the Pre/Post-Emergent by simply activating the products to provide the results that the label indeed said it would. When it comes to seeded areas, such as cool season grasses, it requires us to be a bit more faithful in our commitment to watering to get the results we all want. Water for 2-3 weeks after the seeding or until you notice consistent germination throughout the areas desired. Then continue to water as needed. We recommend watering 30-45 minutes in each station, two to three times per week minimum. You want to get an inch of water on you newly seeded areas per week. Watering new seed in dry conditions requires a commitment, but is well worth it to protect the investment that you have already made.
Water plays such a vital role in all plants as well as farm crops. Think of irrigated crops. Without irrigation that can be monitored, crops will likely still grow and even produce “fruit”. But crops that are watered correctly far out produce that very same crop that is not. Water is such a key component in all lawns and landscapes and is a major factor in lawns reaching their full potential.
If you have any questions or would like more information on your lawn or watering needs, please call our office.
Have a great week!