If your type of grass is a cool-season grass, then fall is an important growth period for your lawn. While this is usually provided by even moderate amounts of rainfall, during seasons of drought your lawn should be adequately hydrated to aid in new spring growth. Do not protect plants with plastic! Your lawn still needs water, but there are several reasons why watering your grass in winter at higher summer levels is a bad idea. Founded in 1985 in Whitesburg, Georgia, NG Turf is a premier grower and distributor of turf grass serving the needs of landscapers, golf course developers and superintendents, athletic field managers, municipalities, and homeowners. By reducing the water, grass will fend off fungus much better and weeds are not as likely to germinate. Grass height and frequency of mowing also have a significant effect on lawn health. This will allow the rye grass to die out. In the spring, you may water your grass every three to five days, but in winter it may only need watering every two to three weeks. If you leave everything as it is, you’ll run the risk of over-watering your lawn. Should You Stop Watering Your Grass? Do not deprive it of irrigation during this critical time. However, dormant bermudagrass may have to be watered occasionally to prevent desiccation, especially in times of warm and windy weather. Avoid watering areas of your landscape where the soil is frozen, such in in perpetual shady areas. You may be tempted to just leave the sprinklers running—grass needs water, right? Grasses, even cool season varieties, need far less water during cooler months. Watering grass even in colder weather is necessary. All plants, including grass, lose less moisture to evaporation in moderate temperatures than they do when the weather is hot. Also, less water evaporates from the grass and soil during cool weather. (For freeze depth maps and other information regarding your specific location, please contact your county extension office.) To demonstrate the beauty and value of the Blackland Prairie, University of Texas at Austin students are seeding the future at the Half-Pint | watch episode →, Half-Pint Urban Prairie + Native Fruit Tress, http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/travis/home-landscape/edible-gardens/growing-vegetables/, Winter annuals, including calendula, snapdragon, pansy, viola, dusty miller, ornamental kale and cabbage, alyssum, stock, cyclamen, dusty miller, flowering kale and cabbage, Avoid planting cold tender plants like Pride of Barbardos, Esperanza, lantana, plumbago, Cilantro transplants, parsley, dill, fennel , chervil, summer savory, borage, rue, chives, Be prepared to cover in case of deep freeze, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Vegetable Planting Guides (Central Texas), Prune freeze damaged plants or not? Grass grows more slowly during the colder months, requiring less watering and mowing. Thanks to Linda Ritzen for this great question! So, do you water grass in the winter? The grass is dormant, but the roots are growing slightly. You do not need to winter water any dormant plants and grasses. How do I tell if my lawn needs water? Most sources agree that in South Carolina, some irrigation should be applied during spells of warmer and dryer temperature, and this should provide for that automatically. North Texas lawns typically require about 1 inch of watering per week. Most of the time we don’t need to water in winter, but if things are really dry, once a month should take care of it. Lawns in Florida need less water during winter than during the rest of the year. But remember, you’ll be watering in vain if you’re doing so when the moisture is high and when the lows have been at or below freezing for an extended time. Turf type tall fescue is a cool season grass, which means that it struggles in the heat. Occasionally hard freezes fall further south than expected, so if you aren’t planning to use your sprinklers, you might as well play it safe and winterize, too.Â. Both warm and cool season grasses consume far less water in the winter than in the warmer months since they grow more slowly, if at all. A solid layer (persisting for more than a month) of ice on lawns can cause suffocation or result in matting of the grass. nter may not be necessary. You may be tempted to just leave the sprinklers running—grass needs water, right? A simple check is the footprint test. Carefully time afternoon watering so grass blades don’t remain moist overnight, which minimizes the threat of fungal diseases. Grass does keep growing for a good part of the fall, even if you don't see as much growth on top. Should we water our lawn in winter? Adjusting or winterizing the sprinklers is probably not on your to-do list, but for your lawn’s sake, it should be. Phoenix Winter Grass Watering Schedule. During these cooler periods, the lawn and landscapes should only require once per week watering. If you cut your lawn severely last fall or mow it in winter so that top growth is very short, it will dry out faster. The Science of Grass in Winter. Winter rye grass (once the seeds have germinated and the grass has filled in) can be watered once a day for 5 minutes (per zone). If picky relatives coming, okay to prune, Avoid pruning shrubs right now unless you see damage, Do not prune oak trees unless you have damage: paint wound immediately, Okay to prune trees other than red oaks and live oaks, Shrubs, roses, trees, evergreen spring-blooming perennials while dormant, Asters and other fall-bloomers which are dormant, Select spots where you want fruit trees, grapes, or berries to plant in January; for now, prep with compost, Mulch cold tender plants like gingers, Esperanza and semi-tropicals. The whole idea of the watering schedule is to keep the seed moist for 2-3 weeks … Watering St. Augustine Grass in Texas. To save water, set your irrigation… Enjoy the peace of protection with the NG Turf One Year Warranty. A healthy lawn requires about one inch of water per week, including during winter. Because bermudagrass is no longer growing when dormant, regular irrigation won’t be necessary. If you have additional questions about watering grass in winter, contact our Certified Turfgrass Professionals at 770.832.8608 or info@NGTurf.com, An industry leader throughout the Southeast, providing premium grass varieties backed by superior service and a one-year warranty. Frozen water can burst lines and break valves and fittings, leading to costly repairs. Avoid the heat of the day to minimise water loss to evaporation. In the cooler months, you will not have to irrigate your new lawn anywhere near as much compared with the warmer months as the days are not hot enough to dry out your new turf. Heavy clay soil holds water much longer than sandy soil. As fall transitions to winter, start to cut back on watering. ), watering depends on many factors. Because watering deeply instead of frequently prompts the grass’s root system to reach further into the soil for moisture, which increases its resiliency against drought. You need not water your winter lawn for as many as two to three weeks after one day of heavy rainfall. of precipitation per week. Even if you have to water in the winter, you can normally water less often than you would in the summertime. If winters are mild, but not hot, grass plants transpire less and the soil holds moisture longer. Should we water our lawn in winter? Fall & Winter Lawn Watering Tips Metro Orlando FL | Kissimmee - Sanford - Leesburg. If you don’t adjust the sprinklers, you risk severely overwatering your lawn. Why is Mel Bartholomew’s innovative square foot gardening concept so valuable today? In terms of the amount of water applied each time to your lawn, watering in winter is not much different from watering any other time of the year. Plants receiving reflected heat from buildings, walls and fences are more subject to damage. In Leander, Ellen and Rick Bickling turned the kids’ old basketball court into square foot | watch episode →, Let’s get growing native fruit trees! Researching Solutions to Fight Dollar Spot. Instead, much of the growth occurs underground in the root system. How much you water will depend on how much it rains in your area. With the dry, hot summer behind you, your field desires less to drink. Rake leaves into beds to mulch over winter and return nutrients to the soil, Mow leaves on grass (if not raking to beds or compost) to break them down. If possible, switch over to manual. Usually rainfall is enough to see us through. How to Water Rye Grass. Watering in fall isn’t much different from watering at any other time of year. For now, I just like the idea of applying SOME water during the winter, as we’ve had 80 degree Christmas days here, but realize that dormant grass requires much less water over time and at once. In warmer climates the grass will continue growing throughout winter. Logic tells us that as cooler weather sets in during the winter, grasses require far less water than during the summer months. If it’s mild, then you can keep at it depending on the rainfall in your region. Collect leaves from neighbors to add to compost pile! Native plants are acclimatized to Colorado weather, and therefore will naturally dry out in the winter. Ryegrass (Lolium multiflorum) is also commonly referred to as Italian Ryegrass. The best test is to stick a spade down a few inches to see if there’s any moisture. Stop the run cycle at that point. Winter watering can help keep your lawn, shrubs, and trees healthy enough to make it through the winter months. Typically, fescue does best … Deeply water new plants; keep new seedlings moist but not drenched. Watering grass in Texas varies according to the type of grass you have. Winter Watering in Phoenix and the Desert Southwest requires much less watering once temperatures cool down in November. Pick a warm but early part of the day when the temperature is above freezing. Best to leave seeds on plants for birds and protect root system. Lawn Health. The best test is to stick a spade down a few inches to see if there’s any … ), watering depends on many factors. Anticipate needing to water your lawn during the fall to keep your grass healthy and prepared for the long-term. Allow the water to … Grasses, even cool season varieties, need far less water during cooler months. If your lawn is receiving more than one inch of precipitation, then you stop watering the garden. This is crucial to build a solid foundation for your lawn and to help it repair any damage that occurred over the … How much sod do I need?  Use our custom sod calulator to find out. You can find DIY tutorials online, but the safest option is to leave it to the professionals and let a trusted lawn service do the work for you. If you must water in the evening, try between 4 and 6 p.m. which should give the grass blades time to dry before nightfall. When November begins, limit your watering schedule to about once a month or so until spring. If it doesn’t rain (or snow! Over time, fungus, mold, root rot and other serious issues can stem from overwatering a lawn. So unless your area experiences a lack of rain for two or three consecutive weeks, watering the grass in winter may not be necessary. Mild temperatures are not scorching our plants. Whilst it still needs some water, you can virtually halve your water usage by laying turf in winter and still maintain a healthy lawn come spring. Many experts offer an inch per week as a rule of thumb for combined rain and irrigation in the wintertime. While reducing irrigation is an essential part of caring for autumn lawns, don’t stop watering abruptly. Grass has the magic power of going to sleep when it becomes very dry, unlike most other plants it will come alive when moisture levels increase. Why Fall Watering Is Important . If your grass … These include succulents, cacti, blue grama grass, and buffalo grass. Your lawn still requires sufficient water and nutrients to be able to sustain winter … Best time of day to water is early morning or evening. Shorter grass is less susceptible to snow mold, tends to harbor fewer pests, and greens up in the springtime much more quickly. If it doesn’t rain (or snow! When the rye grass turns brown, water once a week for 10 minutes to encourage the … During the periods of prolonged winter drought, if the air temperature is above freezing and the soil isn’t frozen, you should water every two or three weeks for 15 to 20 minutes – just enough to provide moisture to the crown and roots of the plants and counteract the drying effects of winter winds. Keep that row cover ready! Heavy clay soil holds water much longer than sandy soil. Some water is a good thing to do to ensure a healthy return in spring. So even if you live in an area where the grass requires mowing throughout the winter, you should still adjust your watering schedule. • My grass is dormant in the winter, ... Winter watering applies to all plants -- lawns, shrubs, trees, and native plants. The grass is dormant, but the roots are growing slightly. This means that for the most part it will be business as usual when it comes to lawn care, with the exception of some far northern areas where if it is the dry season additional watering may be required. If your grass has not quit growing, or if the weathercaster starts talking about serious rain deficits, then hang a rain gauge to be sure. To keep the roots alive in the winter water the grass once a week for 5 minutes (per zone). Fresh water is a limited resource, as many Georgians have unhappily discovered in recent years. Some water is a good thing to do to ensure a healthy return in spring. Bermuda grass goes dormant in the winter time and no amount of watering is going to make it look good. So unless your area experiences a lack of rain for two or three consecutive weeks, watering the grass in wi. The main difference is that as the weather cools off, you may notice that the lawn will go into dormancy, which means that the growing season will come to an end. Watering in the morning (before 10 a.m.) is the best time for your lawn; it’s cooler and winds tend to be calmer so water can soak into the soil and be absorbed by the grass roots before it can evaporate. If it’s a cold winter, no. Even in winter, it’s best to leave our grass tall. should still adjust your watering schedule, n and irrigation in the wintertime. Most of us are busy with holiday tasks — decorating, hanging lights and shopping for gifts. Well, if the type of grass that you have is a cool-season grass, then this period of time, by definition, is a period of strong growth for your lawn. Simply turning off the system and draining the lines is a start, but thoroughly winterizing your sprinkler system requires blowing the water out with compressed air. Winter officially starts in a couple weeks, and our area has already had a preview of the chilly temperatures to come. The Need for Water Even if your grass is dormant, the roots still use water to stay hydrated during the cold months. Stop watering your winter lawn in mid-April, when the temperatures begin to rise. Usually rainfall is enough to see us through. If you don’t adjust the sprinklers, you risk severely overwatering your lawn. Because your grass has different hydration needs in the winter, you’ll need to adjust the settings on your sprinkler system. An efficient irrigation system does not saturate the soil, wets only the root zone, and doesn’t allow water to run off. Horticulturist Karen Beaty from the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center plucks a few for big and small gardens to feed us, the birds, and beneficial pollinators. Winter watering is only necessary during dry spells. If rainfall is not sufficient, you’ll need to water during the winter to maintain a healthy lawn. Why? Your lawn still needs water, but there are several reasons why watering your grass in winter at higher summer levels is a bad idea. In the winter months, Arizona may experience days of heavy rainfall. Most residential lawns in California have fescue grass, which should be kept at 2 inches high during winter … Walk across your lawn and see how long it takes for the grass to bounce back. Here is the watering recommendations for your entire landscaping if you are in the Desert Southwest of Phoenix or Tucson: If you have a winter lawn that is established you can now decrease the water to the turf areas. The amount of water lost through evaporation and transpiration slows considerably and the growth rate of grasses slows down as well. In fact, telling the difference between dead and dormant grass can be tricky, especially in the winter time. You need to stay minimal irrigation going all winter long unless your space gets a minimum of one inch. Son Steve Bartholomew from the Square Foot Gardening Foundation explains why his dad developed the concept, easy steps to make one, and how its global impact conquers hunger. Windy sites result in faster drying of sod and plants and require additional wat… The low angle of winter sun makes this more likely on south or west exposures. There are some fescue and hybrid bermuda grasses that will stay green all winter long, providing it does not freeze. So adjusting your sprinkler system is not only important for the long term sustainability of our planet, but also for many communities in the short run as well. The days have gotten shorter and the sun is farther to our south. For new St. Augustine grass, the time of year will determine how long you need to water. Mother Nature will likely keep your grass sufficiently hydrated. No doubt, you can find a more exciting way to spend your money than spending it on unnecessary watering. If your grass stays green during the winter months then it will need to be watered. A benefit in laying a new lawn in winter is lower water usage. The goal by wintertime is to have your grass somewhere around two inches tall, as this will keep your grass healthy and disease-free throughout the winter. Over time, fungus, mold, … Unless you run your sprinkler system from a well, you are also paying to water the grass in winter. October is the month to scalp and seed for a winter lawn here in Phoenix, Arizona. An … For our friends north of Atlanta, where the ground may freeze down far enough to affect buried sprinkler lines, it’s important to winterize your sprinkler system. But if your grass has gone dormant and your area receives normal, periodic rains, you can just turn your sprinkler system off until spring. While it is a good idea to keep the soil under your grass moist right through late fall, it is even more important for Northerners to resist the temptation to stop watering the lawn in early fall. If the lawn is overwatered, then there is a risk of fungal diseases. Even in the winter, warm season grasses need adequate moisture to keep the roots of the grass hydrated. Grass is unable to effectively use large quantities of water at once, and the excess water stays in the soil. Throughout the warm months of the year, fescue lawns require a substantial amount of water to stay healthy and withstand the high temperatures. For the first three and last three months of the year, five hours every 10 days will normally do the trick. Make sure you’re not overwatering in winter … Brown grass does not always equal dead grass. However there are times that watering your grass can be an advantage such in extreme drought conditions, to allow fast recover from damage or renovations to the grass. Mother Nature will likely keep your grass sufficiently hydrated. Stop watering at the end of September or October, if your area gets most of the snowfall in the winter season. Water only when air temperatures are above 40 degrees F. Apply water at mid-day so it will have time to soak in before possible freezing at night. If your lawn detects a scarce water supply, it will go dormant and turn brown in order to protect the crown. 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