An overwatered lawn can be characterized by a squishy feeling and dry patches. When weeds like nutsedge and crabgrass, and thatch exist in abundance on the lawn, it’s also a sign of an overwatering scenario.
With relevant information, you can avoid overwatering your lawn or save it if it has already been affected. The nuggets on how you can achieve these two objectives are clearly laid out in this article.
JUMP TO TOPIC
- What Causes Overwatering in Lawns?
- How Can I Save My Overwatered Lawn?
What Causes Overwatering in Lawns?
Although the possible causes of overwatering are plenty there is always something you can do or change. The causes include, but are not limited to: waterlogging the growth medium, the landscape, high humidity, ignoring changes in environmental conditions and liquid fertilizers.
– Excessive Watering
As a plant enthusiast, you might fail to recognize that water has both good and bad repercussions on your lawn, depending on how much you add. When you give your grass more water than it needs, overwatering is more likely to take place.
The truth is that there are amounts of water that your lawn can absorb for use in aiding its various biological processes. These are the processes that promote the growth and development of the lawn.
The mistake that most gardeners make is assuming that the more water they add to their grass, the better it grows and survives. As a matter of fact, the opposite is actually true.The method that you use for watering also matters when it comes to overwatering issues.
For example, if you were to water your lawn manually using a bucket, you are more likely to pour too much water on one area of the grass, and this encourages overwatering. On the other hand, if you use a sprinkler, each portion off the lawn will receive small amounts of water each time. That way, chances of overwatering are reduced.
– Using a Waterlogged Growing Medium
Ideally, your lawn will grow well in loamy soils. These are soils with a balance of silt, sand, and clay. Loamy soils exhibit reasonable properties of water retention and drainage. If the balance of the components that make loamy soils is compromised, water retention and drainage properties are also altered and this might lead to overwatering.
If the soil where you grow your lawn has too much clay, be ready to deal with overwatering at some point. Clay has fine particles that are closely packed. When this type of soil is watered, it becomes even more compacted, thereby shutting the air spaces which are the pathways for excess water to move.
If water cannot freely move in your lawn’s soil, its roots will sit in waterlogged conditions, resulting in overwatered grass. Clay soils also negatively affect the aeration of the lawn’s soil. The oxygen that your plant needs for processes such as respiration cannot freely move in the soil.
As a result, the lawn’s roots cannot access the oxygen and this deprives the grass of this much-needed resource for growth and survival.
– The Landscape
The landscape on which you grow your lawn may also contribute to overwatering. Let’s suppose that you grow grass on a landscape that is tilted. When watering the lawn, water is more likely to move from the higher to the lower ground. This means that the grass that is on the lower ground becomes more prone to overwatering.
Growing your grass on a landscape that is flat, reduces this problem. The water that you add to the grass goes down and so is not available for causing an overwatering situation.
– High Humidity
If your climate is laced by high humidity conditions, overwatering may result if you do not plan your watering sessions well. High humidity levels mean that the atmosphere around your grass may be saturated with moisture.
Water from the soil is less likely to evaporate into an atmosphere that is already saturated with moisture. As a result, it will take much longer before your lawn’s soil dries, so the roots tend to stay in wet conditions for longer periods under such circumstances.
Even loss of water through the leaves of the lawn slows down when humidity levels are high. When transpiration takes place, the amount of water that is lost through the grass’ leaves is equal to that which is absorbed by the roots from the soil.
Again, this means that the lower transpiration rates also contribute to the length of time that it will take for the soil to dry. Simply put, the higher the humidity, the slower the transpiration and evaporation rates, the longer it takes for the soil to dry, and the greater the chances of having the roots of the grass seated in waterlogged conditions.
– Ignoring Changes in Environmental Conditions
We cannot talk about overwatering your lawn without mentioning the implication of changes in environmental conditions. For the purpose of this article, our main focus is on temperature and sunlight conditions.
With higher temperatures around your plant, your lawn and its soil will release water into the atmosphere at relatively faster rates. The increased heat that is associated with higher temperatures makes it easier for the water in the soil and plant to be converted into a state that can easily escape into the atmosphere.
Lower temperature rates of transpiration and evaporation. So if you were to water your lawn the same way under conditions of high and low temperatures, overwatering might result in the latter.
Sunlight intensity also positively correlates with temperatures. Moreover, sunlight determines the extent to which stoma are open. Stoma are the openings through which water escapes plants and grass during transpiration. When the light intensity is lower, the stoma is narrowly opened, transpiration reduces, and soils stay wet for longer.
– Liquid Fertilizers
You might need to add fertilizers to your lawn to enhance more vigorous growth. However, if you are not careful, you might expose your lawn to overwatering conditions in the process. This is especially true if you use liquid fertilizers.
Liquid fertilizers are diluted so each application may count as one watering session. If your watering and fertilizing sessions are separate, then it’s as good as you are watering your lawn more frequently than you should. This triggers overwatering, so your plant may be exposed to fungal infections such as root rot.
After a fertilizing season, you might even notice water runoff. That is a clear sign that your lawn is sitting in waterlogged conditions.
How Can I Save My Overwatered Lawn?
You can save your overwatered lawn by watering properly – ensuring good watering habits, only watering when necessary – knowing when your grass needs a drink, having good sprinkler management – carrying out regular checks on the system, caring for your lawn – dethatching, and dealing with root rot.
– Water Properly
Engage in proper watering habits to ensure that your grass recovers from overwatering. The first thing that you should do is reduce the watering frequency. You may also consider reducing the amount of water that you add to the lawn during each watering session. You can cut down on the timeframe for watering your lawn. This means that if you used to water your grass for, say, 45 minutes, you can decide to reduce it to 25 minutes.
Also, try to water your lawn evenly so that other parts do not receive too much water that makes them vulnerable to overwatering. If you are using sprinklers, regularly check if they are in good condition, otherwise, they might cause uneven watering.
We also recommend that you water grass lawn in the morning, rather than in the hot afternoons when the sun is scorching. By the time the sun comes out, the grass would have absorbed the water that it needs, so the loss of excess water can start.
Installing a rain sensor is also a great idea. This tool will automatically switch off the sprinklers if it rains. Otherwise, the double action of the rain and sprinklers exposes your lawn to the risk of overwatering. Also, have in mind that it is highly recommended to water your lawn after mowing!
– Water When It’s Necessary
Proper lawn care involves knowing when to give your grass a drink. Ideally, you should water when you notice signs that the lawn needs more water. Dry soil is a good sign that it’s time to quench your grass’ thirst. The “finger test” where you dip one of your fingers into the soil to determine if it is dry enough for watering is one of the methods that you can employ. You can also use a chopstick, instead.
If you want to do away with the interference of human error, you can consider using a moisture meter. Some modern sprinklers also have detectors that can determine if the soil is dry or not. Such sprinklers do not release water unless the soil is dry.
Please note that allowing your lawn to wilt before you can give it water is not a good idea. There is no need for you to subject your grass to such stress.
– Sprinkler Management
Your sprinkler might be the cause of the overwatering problems that you are facing. Therefore, it is important that you carry out regular checks to make sure that your sprinklers are in good condition. This will ensure that the right amounts of water are well distributed on your lawn, and for designated periods of time.
Check to see if there are no leaks on your sprinklers. Make sure the irrigation heads are not broken. We also recommend that you place rain gauges at some spots on your lawn. Alternatively, you can use a tuna fish can and check the amount of water that is collected. This helps you monitor the amount of water that you are adding to the lawn within a specific period of time.
You then use the results that you get from your assessments of the water that you are giving your plant in stipulated periods of time to calibrate your irrigation clock. The aim is to have it water not more than 0.5 inches.
– Care for Your Lawn
Please note that the yellow or brown patches that are caused by overwatering cannot be treated. Even when you correct the overwatering situation, these will remain. We recommend that you replant new lawns in the areas that are severely affected.
We also recommend that you dethatch your lawn. You do this by removing the old grass that has become spongy because it interferes with water absorption and aeration on your lawn.
– Deal With Root Rot
In severe cases, your lawn might be affected by root rot, which usually causes discoloration of the grass blades. The roots become damaged to the extent that they fail to absorb the nutrients and waste that the lawn needs for survival and development.
Root rot is difficult to treat but we will give you steps that we recommend for you to increase the chances of saving your grass. You can spray the lawn with fungicides of high quality.
We also recommend that you reduce the application of nitrogen-rich fertilizers in areas that are affected by root rot. Rather go for those that are rich in potassium, magnesium, and micronutrients.
Lawn watering is one of the important aspects of caring for this grass and in this article, we focused more on overwatering.
Here is a quick summary of what we discussed:
- The yellow blades and brown patches that are caused by overwatering your lawn destroy the grass’ beauty.
- The main cause of overwatering on lawns is adding too much water at an instant or over a long period of time.
- Other factors that cause overwatering of loans include failure to coordinate changes in environmental conditions with watering schedules.
- Correcting the overwatering situation begins by reducing the amount of water that you add to your grass.
- Good sprinkler management also helps matters.
With all the knowledge that you have gained from reading this article, there is nothing that can stop you from being your ’s superhero. Apply the knowledge and enjoy the adventure!
- GJESR Journal. GRASSES AND GROUNDCOVERS IN LAWN DESIGN. Academia.
Retrieved from https://www.academia.edu/15266031/GRASSES_AND_GROUNDCOVERS_IN_LAWN_DESIGN
- Deborah Green. (March 28, 2012). Lawn Fungus & Too Much Watering. Week&.
Retrieved from https://homeguides.sfgate.com/lawn-fungus-much-watering-21800.html