Are You Underwatering—or Worse— Overwatering Your Lawn?

The secret to a lush green lawn is to make sure your grass is getting just the right amount of water. What’s challenging is that the “right amount” of water differs from lawn to lawn. The type of soil, climate, and sun exposure are all determining factors.

There are several signs to look for to know if your lawn is getting too much or not enough water. And remember, it always makes sense to get a professional involved to troubleshoot issues. A trained eye goes a long way in solving the problem, so you don’t waste time and money going down the wrong path.

Underwatering Signs

When grass is healthy, the blades will have a nice deep shade of green, and stand up and spring back when you walk on them. The soil will be firm but yielding, and you should be able to push a pointed object like a screwdriver easily into the soil. If you try to do this and experience too much resistance, the soil is too dry to support growth.

When your lawn is too dry, you will also see signs of wilting grass or patches of dry brown turf. You may even see grass only growing in patches or in certain areas. If your grass won’t grow in a given space, it could be because it receives too much sunlight and not enough water. For example, if your yard is on a hillside, the top half of the yard may not receive enough water because the water runs downhill.

Overwatering Signs

When you see a yard full of brown patches, it’s easy to assume that not enough water is the culprit. But that’s not always the case. If you try the screwdriver test, and it slips easily into the ground, yet your lawn is full of brown patches, overwatering may be the cause. Another good indicator is that your grass will feel spongy when you walk through it.

Other signs you are overwatering include:

  • Weeds: Grass won’t grow, but there is a heavy concentration of weeds.
  • Fungus: Especially in areas where too much water collects, and you may even see mushroom growth.
  • Thatch: An excess of plant material that can’t break down, which deprives your lawn of nutrients.
  • Brown patches: This can occur from fungal growth or lack of nutrients, and may be spread throughout the lawn or in certain problem areas.
  • Insects: Wet environments and thatch invite insects, and you may notice increases in activity.

The Perfect Amount of Water for Your Yard

The perfect amount of water for your particular lawn requires some observation and an understanding of your property’s conditions—grading, sun exposure, type of soil and other plantlife to name a few.

In general, about an inch of water per week is sufficient. The amount can vary based on the time of year, and other factors. That’s why it makes sense to get a professional involved. They can help you troubleshoot problem areas and develop a watering schedule that supports your lawn’s healthy growth throughout the year.

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