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Clifton Landscaping Tips: How to Effectively Irrigate Your Lawn

Irrigation is one of the most essential things in maintaining a lawn. Apart from regular mowing, watering your lawn makes a big difference in your Clifton landscaping routine. As long as you keep irrigating your yard with the right amount, it will stay green from springtime until autumn.

Studies have shown that an average household in the US uses 320 gallons of water per day, with 30% devoted to outdoor use. More than half of the outdoor water accounts for watering lawns. This is big water wastage — there are ways that you can irrigate your yard without wasting a big amount. Below are some tips on how you can effectively irrigate your landscape.

lawn sprinkler spraying water

Best Time and Frequency of Watering

The best time to water the lawn is early morning before 10 AM. Because of the cool temperature, the water won’t evaporate immediately and have time to nourish your grass. Alternatively, you can water during the mid-afternoon. Avoid watering at 6 PM or later in the evening, this keeps lawns wet during the night, allowing for fungus and bacteria to grow.

Clay soil should be watered only once a week, while sandy soil should be watered every three days. Watering daily is not recommended because it can lead to a shallow root system and promote fungus growth. On the other hand, watering infrequently and deeply helps the grass roots grow deeper.

Amount of Water Needed

The amount of water you need for optimum lawn care in Centreville, VA depends on various factors. Below are two methods you can use to determine this amount:

  1. Formula Method
    One measurement is the Eto value, which tells you the inches needed. For a more lawn-friendly value, you can opt for value in gallons. You then put in the values into this formula:

(Eto x PF X SF x 0.62)/IE = Gallons of Water daily

Below is the explanation of each element in the formula:

• Eto: The actual amount need for irrigation. This amount depends on your US zipcode.
PF: This is the plant factor. Plants need different amounts of water. Make use of a 1.0 value for your lawn.
SF: The area for irrigation, measured in square feet. For example, a 40 foot by 50 foot lawn needs 2,000 gallons of water.
62: The constant value for conversion. This is the amount needed to reach an inch ofwater for every square foot.
IE: Irrigation efficiency. The irrigation is not used by the plant. In general, this amounts to  75.

However, the value described is only an estimated value. There are also other factors that could change the value. In light of this, it is advisable to add 10% more to the water used daily.

  1. The Screwdriver Test
    This is a much simpler test. After watering, try inserting a long screwdriver blade into the soil. It should reach at least a depth of 6 inches. If you don’t reach this level, you might not be watering enough.

Mowing and Watering Schedule

Watering the lawn should always be done after mowing. Watering before cutting the grass may cause the wet grass blades to stick together, and clog your lawn mower. Also, the grass clumps can smother the grass beneath them and can be an eyesore on the lawn.

In addition, you don’t always have to water your lawn immediately after mowing it. If you have to do both, have your lawn mowed in the early morning, and irrigated soon after. This helps you avoid high water evaporation at noon, and low evaporation and fungus growth in the evening.

Lastly, scan your lawn for footprints after mowing. If you don’t spot any, put off watering, as this is an indication that the grass is not yet dry. Watering grass before it dries will promote shallow rooting. If you notice footprints, you may water the lawn, provided that it’s still early in the day.

Irrigation with Care

Watering your garden is a key step in maintaining your property’s aesthetic. By thoughtfully scheduling your irrigation and lawn service in Centreville, VA, you’ll be able to give your surrounds the care it deserves.

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