Dry Lawn – Questions and Answers Garden


Response : Dry meadow

Dear Lorenzo,

I think that the yellowing of your turf may be due to an incorrect irrigation; the mowings that you practice once a week are perfect, and allow you to have a healthy and lush lawn, but the watering in my opinion are provided for too little time and too often.

The aim we set ourselves, when cultivating a turf, is to encourage the development of the small plants that make it up; in particular, as far as the root system is concerned, it should have a deep development, at least 10-15 cm deep, so that it can withstand without problems the external climatic changes that do not affect it, as it is protected by a thick layer of soil.

If we water with small quantities of water very often, the result we get is that of moistening only the first layer of soil; in this way, the roots of the small plants are obliged to develop very superficially, where there is the water; it is clear that, with this method, the water tends to be very much affected by the external temperature, and the pure roots, seen that they develop on the surface; the summer heat will cause therefore a greater transpiration and the rapid evaporation of the water of the waterings.

If then watering also in the evening, consider that this water will remain for long time on the grass, during the cool hours of the night, thus helping the development of fungal diseases. In order to have a healthy lawn, it is important to water until the soil is well wet up to at least 10-15 cm of depth; and later on, it is important that the watering is well spaced between them.

In early spring, when the climate is cool and rainfall abundant, you can water even once a week, but in summer, with hot weather and low rainfall, it is often necessary to water every day, or once every two days.

Avoid watering more than once a day, but when watering, do it for a good period of time; clear that it also depends on what irrigation system you have, and how much water you can spread in a given period of time; with an irrigation system with average flow rate, it usually water for about an hour a day, in a single solution, not subdividing the hour into more administrations per day.

The best time to water is late at night, until the early hours of the morning: more or less between 3-4 and 6-7 in the morning. If you notice that the soil stays wet for a long time, you can also think of watering for an hour, once every two days (depending on the rainfall, and how much water your system brings). Consider that about every day a square meter of your turf loses about 5 liters of water, in summer, and you have to replenish it.

If you know the characteristics of your irrigation system, you can also see how much water it provides in an hour per square metre of lawn. As for the fertilizer, consider that slow release granular fertilizers release mineral salts into the soil for about 4 months; there is therefore no reason to supply it twice at the end of winter; rather, fertilize a single time at the end of winter, and repeat the operation in autumn.

In autumn and spring, it also practices a correct aeration of the lawn, to remove the felt and make the soil more permeable.

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