When to start watering?
This question was asked today. Since the response is complicated and an integral part of our lawn care programs and the control of the "off type" weed grasses that are such a problem right now we thought another e-mail bulletin would be helpful.
The normal "chosen variety" of turf grasses in our area are Perennial Ryegrasses or Fescues. Both of these cultivars are capable of going weeks without water and will be just fine. The "off type" grasses like Poa Annua (Annual bluegrass, has white seedheads right now), Poa Triviallis (Rough bluegrass, no seedheads but grows taller than other grasses) and Native Creeping Bentgrass (low growing, circular patches that are lighter color green) are all shallow rooted and need moisture almost daily to stay green and healthy. Because of this fact, it is a good agronomic practice to NOT water your lawn until we have an extended period of dry weather (two weeks or longer). The chosen variety will do fine and the "off type" varieties will struggle and hopefully die off making room for the "good grass" to fill in.
When watering is required it is also suggested that you water heavily but infrequently. This means one time per week in the early spring and then two waterings a week in the summer. Please refer to the watering spec sheet that was left at your house with the watering gauge and mowing gauge when we applied your Spring Fertilizer. If you need another copy of the watering instructions, send us an e-mail and we will forward one to you ASAP!
The weed control product that we use, while controlling broadleaf weeds and clover is also damaging to the "off type" grasses and has no effect on the perennial ryegrasses or fescues. To put it in common terms, it is competition between the "good grass" and the "off type" grass. We need to do all we can for the best possible growing conditions for our chosen varieties. There is no "silver bullet" product that can be applied to your lawn and only eliminate the "off type" grasses leaving the "good grass". There are some new products being tested currently. As soon as we have more information we will be sure to pass it along. Until there is a new product register for use on home lawns the best control method for "off type" grasses is the use of proper watering, mowing and the use of our Weed Grass Control Program for annual grasses.
Thank you for your time. Please feel free to contact us at anytime if you have questions.