Garber: Is your lawn thirsty?
March 24, 2012
Maybe. With the record snowfall in February, some areas of your yard will most likely be moist, and other areas may be dry.
Many healthy lawns will have enough moisture in the soil to be fine without water for another week – especially if the precip in the forecast arrives as scheduled. But west- and south-facing lawns, especially if they are sloped, need to be checked for dryness and watered, as needed.
Probe the lawn with a screwdriver and if it goes in to the soil easily, that indicates sufficient moisture. If the ground is hard and the screwdriver can’t probe the soil, then you will need to drag out the hose. Do the following:
• Water only those areas that are truly thirsty
• Water thoroughly, and
• Wait to water again for about two weeks and make sure the soil really needs water before applying it again.
The springtime is the most important time for developing a healthy and drought-resistant lawn. Roots are growing now and they need our encouragement to grow deep because deep roots build a healthier lawn.
In contrast, frequent watering makes for shallow-rooted lawns with lazy roots. Like spoiled children, they hang around the surface waiting for you to give them frequent, short bursts of water. So give your lawn some tough love. Water thoroughly when it’s dry-but not frequently. Push those roots to grow deep.
This tough love will pay off later in the growing season. Grass with roots that have been trained to grow deep will be more self-sustaining in the warmer days of summer and the grass will be much less likely to show stress.
Are you over-seeding the lawn this spring?
If you over-seed your lawn, avoid applying pre-emergent weed control to the lawn. The same products that kill emerging weeds will also kill emerging grass. If you use a lawn service, be sure to tell them you have over-seeded so they can adjust their treatments as well.
Courtesy Associated Landscape Contractors of Colorado and Neils Lunceford, a landscaping company based in Silverthorne that is a member. You may contact them at (970) 468-0340.