Properly watering your Central Florida lawn is crucial for maintaining healthy grass. Lawns that are irrigated the right way stay lush and green, and you’re doing your part to conserve water!
Grass that’s overwatered can suffer from fungal growth and when it’s underwatered, it can’t achieve a deep root system.
Read on to learn how to water your Central Florida lawn the right way throughout the entire year.
Proper Irrigation is the Key to a Healthy Central Florida Lawn
Due to Central Florida’s hot and humid climate, it’s important to follow a few key guidelines to effectively irrigate your grass.
Know Your Grass
Central Florida is home to a variety of warm-season grasses like St. Augustine (pictured), Bermuda, and Zoysia. However, it’s important to know the specific type of grass that makes up your lawn because different types have different watering needs.
When you irrigate your Central Florida lawn, do it deeply, so your grass stays healthy. Just giving it a light sprinkle encourages shallow root growth.
Apply about 1 inch of water per week during the growing season. To measure how much water your lawn is receiving, place shallow containers around your lawn. Tuna cans work well for this experiment. Next, run your sprinklers and time how long it takes to fill them with 1 inch of water.
Set an Irrigation Schedule
In Central Florida, it’s typically recommended to water your lawn 2-3 times a week from spring to fall.
To make sure you’re not overwatering or underwatering, determine how long each irrigation session should last by dividing the amount of time it takes to fill your rain gauge or tuna cans to 1 inch by 2 or 3.
For example, if you know it takes one hour to accumulate 1 inch of water and you want to water 3 times per week, simply divide 60 (minutes) by 3. This formula reveals that you must set your irrigation timer to run for 20 minutes per session.
During the dormant season, reduce the amount of water and frequency.
Pro Tip: Perform a maintenance check on your irrigation system every so often to ensure it’s working properly. If you’re not sure your system is running like it should, call us or complete our request service form and we’ll come take a look.
Adjust for Rainfall
Central Florida often experiences frequent summer storms, so keep an eye on the weather forecast and adjust your irrigation system accordingly. If there’s been adequate rainfall, you shouldn’t need to water your lawn as frequently.
However, if you don’t want to bother with tuna cans, rain gauges, and watching the weather forecast, you can increase the accuracy of your irrigation system by pairing it with technology.
Learn more about smart sprinkler controllers by checking out this article by HGTV.
Fine Tune Your Irrigation Technique
Monitor Your Soil’s Moisture – Use a soil moisture meter to check the moisture levels in your lawn. When it shows that the soil is dry about 2-3 inches below the surface, it’s time give your lawn a drink.
Avoid Watering During Windy Days – Gusty conditions cause water to evaporate more quickly and may result in uneven watering. If the forecast is predicting strong winds, put your irrigation system on pause.
Aerate Your Lawn – Periodically aerate your lawn to improve water penetration and promote healthy root growth.
Mulch Grass Clippings – Leave grass clippings on the lawn. They act as natural mulch and help your grass retain moisture.
Healthy Lawns Are Adequately Hydrated
A properly irrigated Central Florida lawn is dark green, thick, and bounces back after foot traffic because it’s hydrated and has a healthy root system. Plus, when your grass receives the right amount of water from both you and Mother Nature, your lawn won’t be a haven for insects and fungus.
While knowing when and how much water to give your grass may seem complicated, applying the above techniques will have you and your family enjoying the feel of a lush green carpet tickling your toes!