While we can’t do much about excessive watering from Mother Nature, if we’re guilty of excessive watering ourselves, we can and need to change our ways; for the health of our lawns.
Excessive lawn watering can cause damage, but so can changing that behaviour all of a sudden. Here we’ll explain how you can safely step down to a safe level of watering.
Lawns have a built-in survival mechanism to ensure their very existence. When your lawn receives an excessive amount of water the lawn starts to recognise the amount as being ‘normal’ to it’s survival. The longer this excessive watering goes on, the bigger the problem you will face in repairing the damage.
If you suddenly reduce the water supply the lawn survival mechanism will kick in; the lawn will believe it is about to die and change all normal behaviour patterns. It will begin to shut down funtions that support normal growth; it will stop using up energy, food and water supplies. Instead the lawn will aim to produce as many seed heads as possible to try and regenerate the species and survive. While this is a very clever survival mechanism, when falsely triggered by excessive watering it will cause the lawn to look awful, full of seed heads, and can cause the lawn to become unhealthy overall.
Stepping down the excessive watering over a period of time will reduce the risk of triggering shock and activating the survival mechanism. Reduce the water supply gradually, over several weeks. Reduce watering times by a few minutes a week and step down until you get to an appropriate amount of water for optimum health. To avoid excessive watering of your lawn over the long term remember to aim for deep but infrequent watering. Water between 6am-10am and add only 2.5cms of water over the entire lawn once or twice a week. Also, keep an eye on rain forecasts as there is no point watering if Mother Nature is about to do it for you.