The Downside to Overwatering Your Lawn in Tulsa
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We all want a healthy, green, mature lawn in the height of the Spring and Summer,
and sometimes that requires us to ‘encourage’ it a little, especially in dry areas, by
watering. But, do you know how much watering is too much? If you find yourself
watering your lawn every single day, or even every other day, there’s a good
chance you’ve overwatering it, and it can end up looking even worse.
What’s the big deal with overwatering?
When We Overwater, We Drown The Roots
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Oxygen is just as important to plant and grass growth as water, and the porous
spaces in the soil underneath your grass allows for the air to be pushed out when
watering. However, watering too much doesn’t let the oxygen escape, and the
pores are instead constantly filled with water. Think of it as you would with any
other life form - without oxygen, the roots of the sod suffocate, just as you would.
This damages the entire root system, and can prohibit the grass from growing.
Because grass has shallow roots to begin with, it is easy for them to be more
susceptible to disease, insect damage, etc. when they are presented with a lack of
oxygen. These ‘little problems’ can quickly turn into huge disasters for your lawn.
The main thing to remember is, even if you can’t see the roots of the sod,
remember they are the most important part when it comes to the overall health of
your lawn, and if they are suffocated with too much water, it will show very quickly.
Little Annoyances, Big Problems
If you consistently overwater your lawn, not only will you notice a compromise in its
health and beauty, but many other ‘little’ problems are likely to start adding up,
making the issue bigger than you may have ever anticipated. Weeds are a great
example of this, as weeds that can survive an over-watered lawn are typically
tougher to get rid of, and can withstand various conditions. Your grass may die, but
these types of weeds will thrive.
Not only will your lawn suffer from overwatering, your wallet will, too - and,
unfortunately, so will the planet. Certain parts of the country have experienced
devastating droughts in the past several years, but no matter where you live,
overwatering is a waste of valuable groundwater. Not only are you spending
money and wasting electricity by pumping up this water, but you’re increasing your
chance of pushing in nitrate pollution, since applying fertilizer to an over-watered
lawn allows it to simply be washed away, instead of seeping into the roots.
Sprinkler systems are a distinct culprit in the world of overwatering, and if you have
your sprinkler on an automatic daily, or even an every other day schedule, you’re
doing more damage to your lawn’s overall health, your electric bill, and the
environment than you may actually realize.
Speaking of fertilizer, you’ll probably think you need a lot more of it if you’re over-
watering your lawn. Since the fertilizer isn’t getting into the root system like it
should, your lawn will likely lose its color, which can quickly put you into an endless
cycle of adding more fertilizer, only for it to get washed away again. This is another
drain on money and resources, and is adding more pollution into the water itself. If
your lawn is already healthy, it will not die, even during a drought. Grass goes
dormant if it hasn’t had enough water, and will begin growing again once it rains,
etc. There is no need for constant watering to keep it ‘alive.’
When To Water?
Your lawn can be watered any time of day, but you should be paying more
attention to the moisture in the soil, rather than how the grass actually looks when
you’re thinking about watering. Typically, watering in the early morning gives the
water a chance to seep into the roots throughout the day, where the cooler
temperatures at night can make it harder to be absorbed properly.
Take a daily walk through your lawn, at any time of day, and look for warning signs
of drying beneath the surface. Your grass may turn a ‘bluish’ color, and your
footprints may stay in formation longer than they normally would. None of these
mean your grass is ‘dead’ or ‘dying,’ but it can give you a better idea of what’s
going on beneath the surface, and if the moisture in the soil is low. If you notice
these signs, it’s a good time to water before the grass gets too dry, but that doesn’t
mean you need to water it every single day until you see different results. A
thorough watering if you notice the warning signs is all your grass will need to
bounce back and appear healthier again.
Remember, there are more problems attached to overwatering than underwatering,
so pay attention to the signs, your soil, and don’t soak your lawn every day! It may
seem complicated at first, when it comes to finding the perfect time to water, but
you’ll soon get the hang of it, if you pay attention to your lawn and soil. Again, keep
in mind that your lawn will not die from underwatering, so err on the side of caution,
instead of wasting valuable resources, money, and time by watering every day or
every other day.
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