Lawn Watering in St Louis, Missouri
Missouri lawns may require 1-1.5 inches of water per week to remain green and actively growing. Our climates supports both warm and cool season grasses each with their own characteristics. Deep infrequent waterings are best as it promotes deep root growth. Frequent shallow waterings encourages minimal (not deep) root development. It can also promote weed growth by leaching the pre-emergents from the soil. Fertilizers will not provide as long of an effect. Taller lawns can reduce the amount of watering required as a tall lawn has deeper roots, provides its own shade for itself and the soil surface. We recommend a height of 3-3.5 inches.
The best time to water is in the morning for those that are early risers or have irrigation systems. It is best to avoid midday watering as some benefits may be lost to evaporation and wind can also be a factor effecting the coverage. Evening watering minimizes evaporation, but can lead to fungal conditions if the grass remains wet overnight.>
Overwatering Your Lawn
Grass that is overwatered will often exhibit some of the same symptoms as grass that needs water.
- A pale, light green/yellow tint to your lawn. What sometimes looks like the lawn is drying out is in fact a fungus caused by excessive moisture.
- A mushy feeling when you walk across it. It also will not “bounce back” after walking across it – footprints will remain.
- Excessive run-off – Applying more water than the lawn can absorb.
How to determine how long to water?
Each home is different in regards to water pressure and volume, so the answer is not the same. Even with the same sprinkler one home may require 20 minutes and different home may require 30 as it is dependent upon pressure and flow. The best way to check the amount of water that your lawn is receiving is by placing catch cans throughout the irrigated zone. A good catch can would be one with a straight side – for example a tuna, cat food, or soup can as opposed to a bowl that has curved bottom. Turn the sprinkler on for 15 minutes and then take an average depth of water in each of the cans. If it is 1/4 or .25 inches you would then know it takes 1 full hour to produce 1 inch of water/rain, the amount needed per week to keep the lawn actively growing.