The rate of evaporation, the amount of natural rainfall and our local watering restrictions are all factors that need to be taken into consideration when determining your watering schedule this Fall. However, the general rule stays the same – continue providing one inch of water every week to maintain a healthy lawn.
In general, the watering restrictions outlined in the Georgia Water Stewardship Act limit watering to the hours of 4pm – 10am during certain days specified by your house number, although there are more details and exceptions to the rule. Keep in mind that throughout the year, the best time to water your lawn is early morning, giving it ample time to absorb before nightfall.
So far this Fall we’ve enjoyed a healthy amount of natural rainfall, which means everyone can scale back on supplemental watering. While many of us worry about lawns not getting enough water, over-watering your lawn can also cause significant damage and make it vulnerable to disease. If adjusting your irrigation system every time we experience significant rainfall is a hassle you don’t need, consider investing in a system with a smart controller with wireless rain sensors and other water-conserving features.
While your landscape is getting a break from the hot summer sun, the wind is also a major factor affecting the rate of evaporation and the amount of moisture that is actually reaching the root system. A significant amount of water can be blown off your lawn or evaporate before it soaks into the ground. After a prolonged period of breezy weather, it’s a good idea to spot check your lawn to ensure it is retaining moisture by sticking a trowel into the ground approximately 2-3 inches and feeling the soil. Dry, crumbly soil at a depth of two inches indicates the need for more water. Typically, breezes subside during the early morning hours – another reason it is the best time to water.
Also, any newly planted trees and shrubs will need your special attention, as regular watering will ensure the root systems get properly established. In fact, trees and shrubs need a steady supply of water for the first few YEARS after relocation. The good news – hand watering with a hose with automatic cutoff or a handheld container is permissible anytime within our current watering restrictions, so don’t hesitate to use these methods to provide supplemental water as-needed to your newly planted trees and shrubs.