KTRH GardenLine Newsletter
July 15, 2010 - Issue #170
Here's Randy's Weekly KTRH GardenLine Tip:
When it comes to the irrigation of your grass, less means more, and more means less.
Huh? What did he just say?
First, what you are about to read is not only my opinion ... it's the opinion of some of the best turfgrass researchers from Florida to Mississippi and Louisiana to Texas.
I don't care what your irrigation company or your landscaper tells you, remember this: light, frequent watering of grass produces a weak, shallow root system. I've learned that's exactly what many of those companies are recommending, and it's making me worry. A shallow, weak root system encourages weed invasion and does not effectively use soil nutrients or moisture.
Instead, deep, less-frequent watering produces an extensive root system that efficiently uses the soil's resources and makes the lawn less susceptible to stress injury. If your lawn takes on a dull purplish cast, and the leaf blades begin to roll or fold before they begin to wilt, that's a perfect indication your irrigation practices are off kilter.
I should note, though, that those symptoms also apply to lawns in hard-pan, overly compacted soils. In those conditions, it almost doesn't matter how you water ... it's all going to waste because of instant run-off.
Ideally, it is best to water any turf just before it begins to wilt. Early morning is the best time of day — late evening is the worst, especially as we get close to September. When I make that recommendation, I often get arguments from people. But here are the five major reasons why you should water early in the morning: