We often talk about the severity of droughts and what they can do to lawns and gardens. As one of the necessary nutrient sources for your lawn, water is very important. But as with humans who get their nutrients from food and can overdo it, your lawn can be damaged from too much water as well.
Signs of Too Much Water
There are a number of signs that your lawn is getting too much water – and some of them are more obvious than others. Standing puddles of water in your lawn are an obvious sign that your lawn has had plenty of water, and can go without watering for a bit. This is only a sign for a single incident of too much water.
Chronic over-watering can lead to fungal infections of your lawn, as discussed earlier in our blog. Leaf mold, leaf spot, and red thread have all been linked to a lawn having too much water. Over-watering will also produce conditions that will allow for the growth of mushrooms, which is not desirable.Along with mushrooms, it will also encourage the growth of weeds that can move in and start taking over your lawn.
Finally, if your lawn has a squishy, springy feel instead of a firm, solid feel, you are giving it too much water. All this takes is a good walk around your lawn to get the feel of it. Vary up your walk to see if certain spots are more squishy than others.
Long-Term Effects of Too Much Water
Aside from making your lawn a soggy, muddy mess, too much water can have some nasty long-term effects. The worst of them is the fact that having too much water can lead your grass to develop a shallow root system. A shallow root system is caused by water always being available near the surface, the grass doesn’t have to try hard to reach it. This creates grass that is susceptible to drought and freezing, and that can be choked out by weeds. A lawn that is reliant on constant watering is a lawn that will die easily.
How to Prevent Over-watering
If you live in an area that gets a number of rainy spells, simply don’t water for at least a week after a series of rainy days. Make sure that the soil at the surface has a chance to dry out before intentionally applying water.
Speaking of intentionally applying water, if you have an automatic sprinkler system installed, turn it off for good. If you have a timed system hooked up to an outdoor faucet, remove it. Automatic watering or stationary sprinklers are not a healthy way to water your lawn. The best bet is to manually hose it down with an inch of water – more around trees and shrubs, which tend to suck up water away from the lawn – once a week or less, while taking rainfall into consideration.