We just moved into a new house that has a lawn irrigation system. The previous owners said we should be irrigating the grass now. I'm not so sure; what are your thoughts? Thank you. Katherine
Thank you for a timely question. My friends at the PRFCT EARTH PRJCT recently ran an article on that very subject and with their permission, I’m reprinting it here.
"What's worse than Irrigation running in the rain? Irrigation running all spring!!
Your lawn needs deep roots; down where it is cool and damp when the heat of summer comes. Best way to get them down there is to let them go looking for it now. Watering early in the season makes roots lazy. They stay on top, where they will be susceptible to insects and sun later on. Watering now can cause fungus and disease problems later. Watering now encourages weed seed germination. Watering now breeds mosquitoes and ticks, so...
WAIT TO IRRIGATE!
Don't run your system until the weather is hot and dry. Lawn grass will need watering when it wilts. How will you know? Wilted grass shows your footprint."
I would go on to add, that grasses in our region are cool season plants that naturally go dormant and turn brown in August. They are not dead, just dormant. If you don't water your lawn at all, you won’t harm the grass and the brown grass will return to lush green when the cooler and wetter weather of September returns. Some folks like green grass all summer long and irrigation systems will help you trick Mother Nature.
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About Linda Lillie
Linda K. Lillie is the President of Sprigs & Twigs, Inc, the premier
landscape design and maintenance, tree care, lawn care, stonework, and carpentry
service provider in southeastern Connecticut since 1997. She is a graduate of
Connecticut College in Botany, a Connecticut Master Gardener and a national
award winning landscape designer for her landscape design and landscape installation work.