Water-Wise Lawn Care

When to Water?

The very best time to water your lawn is in the early morning and before that mid-morning tea break. This minimises evaporation and keeps the turf cooler during the heat of the day. Watering in the evening leaves the grass wet overnight and makes the lawn more susceptible to disease.

How Often Should I Water?

During dry periods, your lawn will benefit greatly from watering. A light watering daily will result in shallow rooting – aim to allow for a good watering once or twice a week in the hot summer months for cool-season grasses, depending on rainfall. Cynodon and Kikuyu can be watered every second week. If you are using a sprinkler, around 20 mins per area onto well-cultivated soil is recommended. Deep-watering less frequently encourages deep strong root growth and greater resilience to disease.

Poor soil, especially if there is inadequate drainage, will tend to become waterlogged if over-watered. On the other hand, sandy soil, lacking in adequate organic matter won’t retain water and will dry out quickly. The amount of watering will depend to a large extent on the grass-type and your soil’s retention. As with all plant-growth, healthy soil produces good root growth and healthy plants.

Adjusting Watering to Suit Your Lawn Type

Knowing how long to water will also depend on the type of grass you are growing – some lawns are thirstier than others. Duzi Turf will advise you on the best watering schedule for your choice of grass, as well as the care for your particular lawn.

A good guide to estimating whether you are watering adequately, is firstly to look at the overall health of the lawn. If it looks healthy, stay with what you are doing. Test by pushing a screw-driver into the turf, if it sinks easily to about 15cm stay with your program, if there is resistence, increase your watering time.

Warm-Season Grasses – warm-season lawns, such as Kikuyu, Buffalo/St Augustine, and Cynodon, require a lot less water than cool-season grass. Their growth slows down when temperatures begin to drop, but they still need some watering to remain healthy. Continue to water for as long as the grass needs regular mowing.

Cool Season Grasses – Cool-season grasses, such as bluegrass, fescue and rye,  are not generally used as lawn grasses in the coastal areas of South Africa but the tuft grasses are often used decoratively.  These grasses recover from Summer dormancy and flourish in Autumn. The cooler temperatures at that time of year keep evaporation rates low, but these grasses still need a good watering every week until frost ends the growing season.


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