The Key to Watering...Building Quality Turf

Core aeration could be the best kept secret to maintaing a healthy, hearty lawn.  By
core aerating, plugs are extracted from the soil by way of a coring machine, and provides the following benefits:
  1.    Increased oxygen into the soil

  2. Enhanced water intake & absorption

  3. Reduces thatch layer buildup/encourages breakdown

  4. Reduces soil compaction and ground pressure

  5. Allows for increased fertilizer intake by the root system

  6. Improves lawn resiliency and drought resistance

  7. Promotes deeper root growth building a thicker, stronger lawn

*Please click the image below for an aeration quote request by MGM.


Part 1:  How do I know when my lawn needs to be watered?

Part 2:  When’s the best time of the day to water?

Part 3: How often should I water?

Part 4:  How long should I set each zone to run?

Part 5:  Water conservation.

To help conserve water, adjust mowing at a higher than normal height (average between 3.5 to 4”), avoid applying a high content of nitrogen as warm weather approaches, limit traffic over the lawn, improve turf rooting (by not overwatering!), control thatch and soil compaction (core aerate every fall), and avoid pesticide use on drought stressed lawns. Don't allow water to hit the driveway or into the street. This is particularly common and extremely wasteful.  Have your sprinkler heads adjusted and tested on an annual basis every summer at startup time to ensure proper zone coverage.

Part 6:  Core Aeration saves lawns!

The best way to know when you need to begin watering is to let your lawn do the talking.  The biggest mistake in watering is that people unknowingly figure that as soon as the sprinkler system is turned on, it’s time to water!  Well, the right thing to do is to let the rain do as much as possible without the need for supplemental watering.  In cases where we experience lack of rain for a number of weeks and really hot temperatures, for example, you may notice your lawn start to turn a hint of brown.  This is normal, and totally healthy!  What you want your lawn to experience is having to find its own source of water supply and it does this by rooting deeper into the soil to find it.  The best thing you can do is let the lawn stress on its own for a bit before you throw in the towel and start watering.

The absolute best time of the day to water is early in the a.m. hours before the sun rises.  Watering during the daytime hours can be wasteful due to excessive evaporation, so you absolutely want to avoid watering when the sun is out.  The key is you want as much of the water to make it down into the root zone, which supplies the grass with it’s moisture and nutrients.

Once you decide that you are going to start watering your lawn, you need to set a conservative schedule so as not to waste unnecessary water.  It’s always important to consider the fact that at any time, the townships can restrict water usage, so you don’t want your lawn to become totally dependent on it.  Try not watering more than once per week (if a set schedule is required).  If, after you start watering, you get a couple of nice rains, shut the system down until you notice your lawn beginning to dry again.  Believe it or not, lawns absolutely DO NOT need water on a daily, or even semi-daily basis.  The only exception to this rule would be a newly seeded or sod lawn where during the “nursing” stages, it’s important to keep the surfaces moist until the lawn establishes a root system.  For a newly seeded lawn you want to give it a light soaking in the early a.m. and mid-day if possible.  When watering in these conditions, be careful not to over-water and create puddling.  For new sod lawns, one good soaking during the early am hours, daily (or every 2-3 days if it’s not too hot) should be sufficient.

It is extremely important that when you do decide to water, that you give the lawn a good soaking.  Watering for 20 minutes per zone, unfortunately, will not promote good rooting, and can be kind of wasteful.  In this case, you will build a shallow root system and may experience quick burning of the lawn during extreme heat conditions.  Depending on your sprinkler system coverage (which can obviously vary based on the installation) you want to set each zone for a MINIMUM of 90 minutes.  If you have good overlapping coverage, this should do the trick.  The purpose of this is that you want to ensure that the water is going to soak well down into the root zone.  If it happens to start raining again, I’d say flip the switch to “off” and let the rain do it’s thing.  Over-watering can also promote disease and insect problems that you really won’t want to deal with.

Monroe, New Jersey, NJ ,08831, Landscaper, Lawn Maintenance, Landscape, Grass Cutting, Fertilizing, Mulch, Stone, Topsoil, Seed, Landscaping, Installer, MGM, Monroe Grounds Management ,Top Lawn Care, Core Aeration, Thatching, Snow Plowing, Commercial, Residential Watering  Nikolaus Kasper  Nick Kasper  Middlesex County  Mama Mare Foundation  Special Strides  Renaissance Properties, Inc.  Bob McDaid

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Monroe Grounds Management, LLC  •  Monroe Township, NJ  08831

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