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Helpful Watering Tips for Your Lawn and Garden
A properly watered lawn and garden means healthier and more attractive landscaping. Watering your lawn or garden with too much water or too little water or at the wrong times can contribute to various issues. Lawn care and garden maintenance requires understanding your soil conditions and its water-holding capacity.
The United States Department of Agriculture recommends the following guidelines for watering a garden and lawn. On average:
- A lawn needs about 1 inch of water weekly.
- In extreme heat, the lawn may need 1 inch of water every third day.
- Deep watering once is more beneficial than multiple light waterings.
- Deep watering means watering to about a depth of 4 to 6 inches and encourages healthier root development.
To avoid overwatering, the USDA suggests placing an empty tuna or cat food can on the lawn when watering. Stop watering when the can is full or if the water begins to run off the lawn.
When to water your lawn (and garden)
Water the lawn and garden early in the morning or in the evening after the sun has begun to set. While it may be convenient some days to water midday, air temperatures often are at their warmest midday and the rate of evaporation will be higher. Watering in the early morning or evening allows for less evaporation and more water reaching the roots. In addition, avoid watering on windy days, as it’s harder to control the direction of the watering, and windy conditions also increase evaporation.
Right equipment makes watering easier
Sprinklers placed in the yard or in the garden can make the watering chores easier. Stationary sprinklers and oscillating sprinklers allow you to water large areas with ease. Kmart.com offers several varieties, including the Craftsman Impulse Sprinkler, which can cover an area up to 5,800 square feet. Other options are the Ray Padula oscillating or turret sprinklers and the Claber turbo spike stationary sprinkler. The latter is ideal for small areas and flowerbeds.
Wand sprinklers are an option for watering gardens, flowerbeds and hanging baskets. Kmart features multiple styles, including the Black & Decker 8-pattern deluxe water wand. Its lightweight aluminum construction won’t rust, and it boasts eight watering settings ranging from light mist to jet and soaker.
Soil and gardening tips
Clay and sandy soils can present watering challenges. Clay soils compact easily and absorb water slower than other soils. When watering clay soils, keep a close watch on the water absorption to ensure that puddles and run-off are not occurring. Compost and mulch can help eliminate this issue in your garden if the soil is a clay type.
Sandy soils have the opposite problem. Water tends to run through a sandy soil quicker than clay or other soils. When watering your lawn or garden with sandy soil, consider a mulch cover in order to help hold in the moisture and reduce evaporation.