Looks like fun huh? What’s not always fun though is trying to figure out your irrigation schedule in the sweltering southern heat.
Birmingham area homeowners have to deal with blisteringly hot summer temperatures that often punish our lawns in times of drought. Late summer seems to be the worst since we get little rainfall.
So, how often should we water our lawns during these hot summers. Is it possible to overwater?
We’re looking at all these questions today, so read on.
When to Water?
Watering in the midday heat is tough on your turf and it wastes water. Evaporation is generally at its peak when the sun is high overhead, so it’s a bad idea to water in the middle of the day. If you wait until the evening, you’re opening yourself up to a different set of problems. Evening watering can cause the water to stand in your yard and promote disease. The IDEAL TIME to water is early morning. Just before sunrise would be perfect if you have a sprinkler system installed. This allows the water time to soak into the soil before the day gets too hot and it also prevents it from causing disease issues because the sun will dry out the surface in short order.
How Often to Water?
Ideally, you should only water once or twice a week. Watering daily gets your plants dependent on frequent rain which is not at all natural to the central Alabama climate. Your turf will never develop deep roots and drought resistance if it is constantly getting babied with daily watering. During the spring and summer, most grass types will only need 1-2 inches of water each week. If you wish, you can split that up into two different times or just pick a single day each week for an early morning irrigation. Our friends over at the Alabama Extension suggest getting a soil moisture sensor or rain shutoff device so you’re not watering during or after a rainstorm. One last suggestion here. September is typically going to be brutally dry in the Birmingham area. You might actually want to increase your watering at the end of the summer months just a little bit.
How Much to Water?
Believe it or not, turf grass has different watering requirements than your perennial shrubs. Make sure you have your sprinklers installed in zones so that they aren’t applying too much water to hardy perennials. Also – don’t be that homeowner that waters half the street! Directional sprinklers should be used near roads and driveways and you should check their function periodically so that you’re not wasting water. Pretty simple, huh? One quick note though. Alabama is prone to occasional drought. Keep an eye out for water rationing and be sure to follow all local laws and ordinances. Need help setting up your irrigation system? Give Chris a call.