how to properly water your lawn

Watering Techniques For Iowa Lawns: Efficient Water Conservation

Lush lawns are common in Iowa in the Spring, but they are much harder to maintain in the warmer months.  Droughts are very common in Iowa in the summer, so you’ll need to use sustainable watering techniques to save your lawn while practicing good water conservation habits.

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How often do you water lawns in IA?

Your Iowa lawn probably needs between 1 to 1.5 inches of water a week, but the exact lawn care program you use depends on a few factors. Drought-tolerant turfgrass like Kentucky Bluegrass is a popular choice in Iowa, but fescues stay green up to 3 weeks longer.

Fresh seed or sod will need to be watered once or twice daily in the beginning. Once turfgrass reaches 1-2 inches or sod roots to the soil, you can reduce the frequency of watering. After grass or sod has been mowed 3 or 4 times, it will only need to be watered about once or twice a week, depending on temperatures. 

Some Iowa homeowners prefer to let their lawns go dormant during summer months. It’s best to apply 1 to 1.5 inches of water to a lawn that’s been dormant for 4 to 6 weeks to keep the roots alive. Keep watering every 2 weeks or so throughout the dry period, and then once a week after the drought has ended and the turfgrass has greened up again.  

How can you water your lawn to conserve?

You can keep your lawn green by using efficient water conservation methods. 

Water in the morning 

Early morning before 9AM is the best time to water your lawn, no matter what type of system you use. As temperatures rise throughout the day, water will evaporate more quickly and you’ll need more water. High winds are more common in the afternoon and may blow water away from the intended area.

Recycle water 

Much of the water you use in other parts of your home, business, or property can be used to safely water your lawn. Even if a professional greywater system is out of your budget, a simple water barrel setup allows you to conserve water by recycling.

Improve soil and lawn quality

A healthy lawn needs less water. High-quality fertilizer applied by Iowa lawn care professionals keeps soil moisturized and balanced. Keeping your grass at a height of at least 3 inches also helps with moisture retention. Compacted soil exacerbates the effects of high temperatures, so you might also want to consider professional core aeration services to help your lawn to breathe and retain nutrients.

Use an irrigation system to conserve water

Watering your lawn with a hose or by hand can be inefficient and may result in excess moisture that is damaging for your lawn. A professional irrigation system gives you greater control over how much and how often you water.

Many irrigation systems have smart irrigation controllers with soil moisture sensors to avoid overwatering and wasting water. If your system does not have these features, you may want to operate it in manual mode to adjust for weather and drought conditions. 

Even the most efficient irrigation system needs regular maintenance to keep being beneficial. Irrigation and sprinkler system repair in Iowa may be needed if any of your system’s components are broken or clogged or you need help reprogramming or changing the settings. 

Ready to conserve water on your IA lawn?

If you’d like a green lawn all year ‘round without wasting water, we can help. Contact your lawn care experts in Sioux City to adopt more sustainable practices in your lawn care.