Summertime means sunshine and hot weather – and hopefully some rain to naturally hydrate the investment you’ve made in your landscape. But nonetheless there will be hot, dry days when homeowners will need to water their turfgrass and ornamental plants.
Local County Water Restrictions
The Georgia Water Stewardship Act went into statewide effect in 2010 and permits “watering for purposes of planting, growing, managing, or maintaining ground cover, trees, shrubs, or other plants only between the hours of 4 p.m. and 10 a.m.”
Exceptions to the watering restrictions are made for personal food gardens and hand watering. More details about water use in DeKalb County can be found by clicking here, and Fulton County can be found by clicking here.
Here are some handy tips for watering:
- How often should I water? On average, lawns need to get around one inch of water every week. Not sure how much water is reaching your soil? Place an empty can on (or near) your grass and measure the amount of water that accumulates. Or, you can perform a quick soil test by putting a spade into the ground around the plant and then pulling it out. Hydrated soil should feel moist from 6 to 12 inches below the surface. If the spade is easily pulled out of the ground without any resistance and it’s completely dry, it’s time to water. Another option is purchasing a soil moisture sensor to measure the amount of water.
- What’s the best watering method? Water should be applied slowly and steadily, so it will have time to absorb into the soil and reach the core of the root. Water applied too quickly cannot be absorbed and turns into runoff. Irrigation systems that spray a fine mist and soaker hoses are great methods.
- When’s the best time to water? The best time to water is between 6-10am. There is less sun and wind during these hours, plus your lawn will absorb most of the moisture before nightfall, when wet lawns are more prone to fungal disease.
- How can I water more efficiently? Consider installing an irrigation system with a smart controller, which includes wireless rain sensors and other features proven to conserve water. Mulch and pine straw also help conserve water by locking moisture within the soil as well as slow down the water evaporation process. These natural barriers also help keep the temperature of the soil consistent and moderate. This means you can water less often, and prevent plants from drying out and dying in the summer heat.