The summer rains can be counted on for most of the water. It is not unusual to see rain every day under normal Florida growing conditions. Some days the rain may be just a sprinkle, so check the lawn for dry spots and water if needed.
Many people water their lawns incorrectly. Over watering leads to a shallow root system and can damage and even kill your lawn. Let your lawn tell you when to water. Look for the following signs and consider watering when you see at least one of them:
1. Folding leaf blades. Drought-stressed lawns will curl up their leaf blades lengthwise in an attempt to minimize leaf area.
2. Blue-gray color. Drough-stressed lawns turn from green to a bluish-gray.
3. Footprints remaining visible long after being made, means your lawn is experiencing drought stress.
Train your lawn’s roots to grow deep. One way to help your lawn endure drought is to encourage deeper rooting. Irriage only when the grass begins to show one of the three signs of lawn thirst listed above. When you do water, apply the proper amount of water (1/2″ to 3/4″). These practices will increase rooting depth and overall turf-stress tolerance.
Another way to encourage deeper rooting is proper mowing. Mow at the highest recommended height for your grass type. and your grass’ roots will grow deeper. When you mow too low, the grass puts energy into regrowing shoots rather than establishing deeper roots.
Consult the “Your Florida Lawn” website or your county Extension office for more information.