PRFCT Tips

Tagged with "Water"

Drip irrigation

Got new trees and shrubs? Drip irrigation can be an effective way to keep them well-hydrated this summer, but keep in mind the following before you put down those hoses:

  • Place drip tubes beyond the root ball, as well as on it, to encourage roots to grow into the surrounding soil.
  • Water newly planted trees and shrubs seldom (less often than your lawn) and deep (12-18"). Too much watering encourages excess growth, a magnet for fungus diseases and sucking insects.
  • Remove tubes after two years. Your plants will be well-established and just won't need the irrigation anymore.

Photo credit: U.S. Department of Agriculture

leave in grass

How much to water in the fall? Not at all!

Turn off your irrigation! Your lawn and landscape does not need supplemental water in typically cool, moist, fall weather. This is the time to encourage roots to grow deep and strong: resilient and ready for hot and dry weather next summer. 



However, as a final treat to your plants, and their roots, before heading into the long cold winter, you might need to give them a long deep drink, making sure there is plenty of moisture way down in the soil before your irrigation system is shut down for the winter. How to do that?

First, test to see how deep your moisture lies (need a moisture meter?). It needs to be at least 6” deep. If it is wet, all is well. If it is dry down there, water away. It could mean for hours: think the equivalent of a day or two of rain. Consider dividing watering into two consecutive days to allow water to penetrate, especially in heavier soils.

sprinkler

Your Seed is Planted, Germinated, and Growing. Now, how to water PRFCTly?

Now that your new grass seedlings are more than 1.5 inches tall it is time to encourage their roots to grow deeper by watering properly.

Allow the top inch of soil to get dry between waterings. Depending on the weather, this might mean watering two to three times per week for 10 to 20 minutes. Try to restrict this frequency to newly seeded areas.

Do NOT "set and forget" your irrigation system. Overwatering will lead to weak and fungus-prone grass.

Less is more.


seedlings

Now that you have the PRFCT grass seed, it’s time to lay it down and have a PRFCT LAWN

1. Mow Short: Mow lawn with mower at lowest setting. Open bare patches to receive the seed.

2. Remove Clippings: Make sure the seed will meet the soil.

3. Aerate: Just in compacted areas like paths, and when doing total lawn renovations.

4. Apply Compost or Compost Tea: Allow to dry, then rake or drag the clumps smooth.

5. Freeze Your Seeds (optional): Put seed in freezer for 48 hours to crack seed coat and halve germination time.

6. Spread the Seed: How much? It varies a lot by seed type. Follow the instructions on your seed mix or see our website for typical amounts. Do not over do it! Crowded seeds compete and struggle.

7. Water: Seeds needs to be moist until established: Light watering (i.e. several times a day for 5 minutes each) until grass is at least 1.5 inches.

grass

First things first. Before jumping into your fall lawn renovation, start by identifying your trouble spots. Now is the PRFCT time to look since the heat of the summer makes problem areas more visible.

We suggest devoting an afternoon to exploring your property. Or, have your landscape professional make a list and discuss it with you.

Do you have moss, fungus or mushrooms: probably overwatering. Bare patches? Water, soil, or turf grass types could be the culprits.  Start with gathering some invisible information: your soil health. You can check the pH yourself with a simple litmus test, or better yet, get a complete soil test Cornell Corporative Extension of Suffolk County or Soil FoodWeb New York.

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