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Dealing with Drought

By Cody Wynn

Georgia weather, as most of you know, has 12 seasons. This 8th season we’re currently in historically has some dry conditions. We get an excitement from extended forecasts only to fizzle to a rain shower at our neighbor’s dust bowl instead of our lush lawn. The important thing to remember is all our products aren’t going to waste. These products are designed to sit and wait for ideal conditions to return. This will ensure a faster recovery from drought stress or lack of color. If you aren’t willing to play the waiting game with mother nature there are a few things to remember when watering your lawns. Timing is everything. Mid afternoon watering is never a good idea. Evaporation can reduce watering efforts by 30% at least. It also can act like a magnifying glass on your grass blades which can cause injury.
The best time to water is during the early morning hours between 5-9am. Doing it during these hours will increase the turf’s health drastically. There’s less wind, heat and disease pressure if watered during those hours. The grass blades are able to dry during the morning sunlight hours. The root zone is refreshed and the watering can temporarily decrease average soil temps back to the optimum level in which turf can thrive. Watering amounts are also crucial. Watering everyday for 10-15 min zone can make your lawn lazy. Grass is genetically programmed to fight to live. It’ll send its roots as far as possible depending on the soil structures its in. It’s best to water deeply at least once a week. Measure the amounts you’re applying by rain gauges or even tuna fish sized cans. The idea is to fill up a 1″ depth container once a week. Watering deeply for at least 35-45 min per zone can make the difference!
It has been proven by people much smarter than me that 1,000 sqft needs 600 gallons to equal 1″ of watering. So if your lawn is 10,000sqft or 20 pallets worth of grass is in your lawn. You will need to see an increase of approx. 6,000 gallons of water per week or 24,000 Gallons per month on a water bill. I’m only telling you this to put things into perspective. Hopefully we will get relief that we need as we enter the early months of Hurricane Season.