Rain, Rain Go Away … Over-watering your Lawn

If you think the only problem your grass could have was too little water, think again. Over-watering your lawn can cause serious problems. If you’ve had a heavy rain, give your hose a break.

Here’s why:

Problems with Over-watering:

  • Plants and grass need oxygen to survive, just like you. Their root system can be filled with water much longer than your lungs, but they can still suffocate.
  • In order to grow deep into the soil, roots need loose soil. As you walk over your lawn, saturated soil is easily compacted and hinders root development.
  • They can also thrive in lots of water, so you’ll have way more weeds and they will be much more difficult to control compared to weeds growing in a dry environment.
  • Suffocation causes your roots stress, which leaves your plants and grass much more susceptible to the many different forms of root and leaf rot.

How You Can Tell

Soil in the Midwest only needs about five inches of saturation. You can use a trowel or a screwdriver to penetrate the surface. If there’s little to no resistance all the way, that means you’re over-saturated.

You can also tell by the color of your grass. Over-watered grass turns a pale green or light yellow.

What You Can Do

Grass is hearty so it’s better to underwater than over-water it. Don’t water your lawn until you hit dry soil less than 5 inches below your grass. The best way to water your lawn is infrequently and deeply, trying for an inch or more at a time.

If it’s been raining a lot, there’s only one thing you can do. Don’t water it anymore, over-mow or over-fertilize it. Mow your lawn high and wait to feed it with fertilizer. Singing rain, rain, go away may also help, but we’re not making any promises with that one.

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