NDSU Extension - Morton County


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July 2, 2018 Tips for Watering Lawn

Dates to Remember

July 12                        Morton County Soil Conservation District meeting, Mandan
July 12                        Plot Tour – Gietzen Plot
July 16                        My First Business: Babysitting, New Salem
July 17, 24 & 31         Park Play Dates for families, 10:30a.m.
July 19                        Friends and Neighbors Day, USDA-ARS, Mandan
August 2, 9, & 16       1-2-3 Magic, Bismarck ND

Tips for Watering Lawn

Hot summer days are great for water fights and time in the swimming pool, but not for our lawns. Much of our grasses found in North Dakota lawns are classified as cool season, such as Kentucky bluegrass, and do not thrive in the heat of the summer sun, in fact, they become dormant. Never the less, they still require water to survive and without it, your lawn could result in poor recovery and dead grass.

The general guideline is to provide lawn with about 1 to 1.5 inches of water per week either from the homeowner or from Mother Nature. This amount can vary depending on a number of influencers including the number of trees or other plants competing for the moisture, thickness of the thatch layer, disease, clay content, level of compaction, and more so adjust accordingly.

Homeowners are encouraged to measure water output to avoid the expense of overwatering. To do so, simply make a 1 or 1.5 inch mark (whichever you prefer) on several small containers of the same size (anything with straight edges and a flat bottom). Place the containers in the line of the sprinkler and time how long it takes for the water to fill to the mark. You can use this as your base time for watering as long as water pressure is constant.

Watering deep and less frequently is beneficial to the lawn. By doing so, it creates a deeper root system because the roots will grow where the water is. However, this may need to be adjusted depending on the type of soil. If the soil is mostly clay, the water is unable to infiltrate as quickly and may cause run off if 1 inch of water is applied all at once. This could be altered by applying .5 inches 2 times per week instead.

Morning is the best time to water when plants are active and can absorb the water they need. It is not recommended to water in the afternoon when the heat evaporates the water more quickly than the plants can absorb it. Evening is also an undesirable time to water because of the potential to create an environment for diseases due to the lawn being wet through the night hours.

Remember the grass doesn’t have to be greener on the other side if you water your lawn properly.

If you would like to visit further about lawn care, contact NDSU Extension in Morton County at 701-667-3340.




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