Violating Houston’s drought contingency plan rules during dry periods can cost you! Water lost as run-off finds its way to sidewalks or cement gutters. by Jeff Rodgers. The need for additional watering drops from late fall through early spring when temperatures become cooler, the days are shorter, and rain is more frequent. However, if soil is less than 5 inches deep, irrigation  may need to be more frequent. Proper fertilization promotes healthy plant shoot and root development. The standard of lawn watering is to provide an inch of water once a week, or half an inch twice a week. Given the summer heat in the Houston area and the everlasting need to preserve nature’s precious resources, it’s always a good idea to have a basic maintenance plan for your yard. 1. Addresses ending in odd numbers may water on Saturdays and Wednesdays. Water slowly so that the moisture soaks into the soil and you don’t waste water with runoff. Homeowners can conserve a significant amount of water with no loss in grass quality by learning to water their lawns properly. A lawn that is properly watered can compete aggressively with weeds and avoid stress that contributes to lawn diseases. growth but hinder the development of hardy roots. Turn the sprinkler head or system on for 30 minutes. To avoid this problem, use sprinklers with low application rates and/or irrigate to a point just before run-off. The deeper a plant’s root system, the better able it is to use water held deep within the soil, reducing the need for supplemental watering. Thatch accumulates because of heavy fertilization, improper mowing, and over- watering. – Watering at night is not usually recommended, but there is an exception to that rule when the weather is extremely hot. Therefore, watering sandy soil takes less time than watering clay soil but must be done more frequently. During the harshest dry periods, the city of Houston will typically limit the times you can water your yard to two days a week and only at certain times. The extra nutrients and organic material will improve the health and beauty of your lawn for the rest of its life! Rainfall is best, but when it’s not raining, you can set up your sprinkler to run during Houston’s schedule of watering hours. 1. Our work makes a difference, in the lives of Texans and on the economy. Choose plants adaptive to conditions in your area of the state. You don’t have to give up having an aes-thetically pleasing lawn to conserve wa-ter. Blackland Income Growth Virtual Conference, Ranchers Agricultural Leasing Workshop: Online course, Connecting Agriculture and Health – From the Ground Up: online, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wc8xY2YuOfM. Using the appropriate grass can make water management easier and less expensive. Whether you choose an above ground or underground system, it is important that it is working properly. If you've been watering adequately through the summer evergreen trees shouldn't need any extra water above what is mentioned above. Eighty-six percent comes from the Trinity River into Lake Livingston, and the San Jacinto River into lakes Houston and Conroe. Chris Jamieson October 20, 2016 Lawn Care. Mid-afternoon watering may cause uneven distribution from high winds. Also, watering in the morning allows your grass to dry before nighttime, lessening the chance of disease creeping in. In the end, Mother Nature decides how much water lakes, rivers, and aqueducts will provide. Water deeply but only occasionally so salt does not accumulate in the soil. Even in winter, it’s best to leave our grass tall. Also, salt can exacerbate the effect of drought on turfgrass. You should not completely stop watering your lawn in the fall until the ground freezes. I have St. Augustine grass. Too much fertilizer, especially nitrogen, may encourage shoot growth but hinder the development of hardy roots. Water not only quenches the grass's thirst, it also provides it with nearly all the essential nutrients that are dissolved in it. At that time, the air is usually still, which prevents the … Grass grows all year round, even when it’s very cold out. Proper run times are crucial for your landscape to thrive through the different seasons. The expense, hassle, and inconvenience of wading through the paperwork far outweigh that of sticking to the city’s water conservation plan. You can conserve water by properly fertilizing, mowing, controlling thatch, reducing soil compaction, and considering the salt content of water in the region. Measure and record the depth of water caught in each individual can. Lawns should be watered … Make sure sprinkler heads have the right water pressure to apply water as drops and not as mist. Homeowners whose addresses end in even numbers can water on Sundays and Thursdays. When weather is cool, humid, and/or less windy, grass will need less water. This is literally a waste of resources! Environmental conditions affect the water requirements of a lawn. It is also a good idea to avoid fertilizing when heavy rains are expected. During the summer, when temperatures are high and days are long, lawns generally need supplemental watering. If you’re wondering when to stop watering the lawn in Texas, as well as other plants, we’ll give you the rundown here. Shallow watering produces weak, shallow-rooted grass that is more susceptible to drought stress. A lawn that is watered deeply should generally be able to go 5 to 8 days between waterings. Set five to six open-top cans randomly on the lawn (cans with short sides such as tuna or cat food cans work best). Water the entire lawn when that area begins to show symptoms. November. You need to stay minimal irrigation going all winter long unless your space gets a … Click for a hub of Extension resources related to the current COVID-19 situation. Most of the time we don’t need to water in winter, but if things are really dry, once a month should take care of it. Frequent mowing produces thicker, denser turf. In other words, instead of watering each zone for 30 minutes, water each zone for 15 minutes, then cycle through all the zones again for another 15 minutes. In Haslet, Texas, you may be mowing your lawn … Homeowners whose addresses end in even numbers can water on Sundays and Thursdays. When does everyone typically stop mowing and watering their lawn for the winter? Reuse leaves in beds as mulch or add to compost bins. Caring for your Texas lawn in the summer can be tricky, but it need not feel impossible. After the ground freezes, it would be pointless to water grass because the frozen ground would act as a barrier, blocking the water's path to the roots. If you’re concerned about your home’s lawn care, you can trust Zodega TIS’s residential landscaping in Houston. It is recommended to water your North Texas lawn early in the morning, before 10 a.m. On a warm day, watering from mid-morning to late afternoon will cause one-third of your water to evaporate before it soaks in. Before establishing a new lawn, determine which grass species work best for your location. As conditions can vary across the country, follow these general rules for when to stop watering plants in fall weather: Continue to provide supplemental moisture as needed until the ground is frozen. The time of year also influences irrigation needs. Irrigate deeply. Consequently, watering deeper than the root zone should be avoided. To determine how often to mow, use the “one- third” rule no more than one-third of the leaf area should be cut at any one time. The amount of water found in the cans was as follows: 0.5 inch, 0.4 inch,0.6 inch, 0.4 inch, and 0.6 inch. If you must water in the evening, try between 4 and 6 p.m. which should give the grass blades time to dry before nightfall. Most people do not realize how long it takes to put down 2” to 3” of water over a large area. Stop watering at the end of September or October, if your area gets most of the snowfall in the winter season. categories: A lawn that is watered deeply should generally be able to go 5 to 8 days between waterings. Water moves very slowly into some soil, especially fine-textured clay and loam. Homeowners know how important water is to a healthy lawn. Use a garden spade or a soil probe to determine how deeply the soil was wet during the 30-minute time period. You should stop watering, or at least water very lightly immediately after applying fertilizer to your lawn. Topdressing, verticle mowing (dethatching) and aerification can help control thatch development. I think it's about time I do so but I don't want the lawn to die if I stop watering too soon. Follow these rules to know when to stop watering the lawn in fall. With the dry, hot summer behind you, your field desires less to drink. Watering late in the evening or at night causes leaves to remain wet for an extended period of time, which increases the chance for disease. 2. Watering in the evening or at night makes your grass somewhat more susceptible to lawn diseases. Water can be lost when it leaches or filters through the soil, especially in coarse-textured sand and loam soils. Watering in the morning (before 10 a.m.) is the best time for your lawn; it’s cooler and winds tend to be calmer so water can soak into the soil and be absorbed by the grass roots before it can evaporate. There are many different irrigation systems available. In a “normal” summer, water customers can irrigate their lawns between 7 p.m. and 5 a.m. That allows water to be applied evenly and with little loss from evaporation. To establish an irrigation plan for your lawn, consider soil type, grass variety, management practices, and environmental conditions. Thatch, the layer of non-decomposed organic matter found between the soil surface and the base of the leaves, can slow water movement into the soil and cause run-off. Although there are exceptions for new lawns, violations of Stage Two restrictions can lead to fines ranging from $100 to $2,000. Then wait until the grass begins to show signs of drought stress before watering again. We recommend the 6 … If your lawn is receiving more than one inch of precipitation, then you stop watering the garden. See Figure 1 for information about your specific location or contact your county Extension agent for more information. Rather than watering on the same schedule each week, adjust your watering schedule according to the weather. Do you have a question -or- need to contact an expert? The probe will easily push through wet soil but less easily into dry areas. Water no more than two days a week; stick to the schedule as noted above. I put down winterizer last week. Watering restrictions in and around Houston are in place because drought in Texas is common. Texas A&M website takes out the guesswork Just how long do your sprinklers need to run to keep your lawn green? This is why the cold temperatures of northern winters are said to create desert conditions. However, because water seeps into clay soil more slowly, it must be applied at lower rates over a longer period of time. If it stays dry and gets pretty warm, sometimes a watering or two will help the grass and shrubs. Early morning is the best time to water. Watering at night if the weather is extremely hot. Thoroughly wet the soil to a depth of 6 inches with each watering. With roughly 2.3 million people living and working in the city, and more on the outskirts, the need for water isn’t exaggerated. If a sprinkler applies water faster than the soil can absorb it, stop irrigating until the surface dries and then resume watering. ... Keep fallen leaves raked up so lawn grasses can receive adequate sunlight. Nutrient deficiencies are just as bad because they stunt roots and shoots and make the turf more vulnerable to disease, insects, weeds and drought. Water- Maintain watering on newly planted seeds and transplants. × Established lawns with deep, extensive root systems sometimes can be watered less often. Loam retains a moderate amount of water following irrigation and requires a moderate amount of water. Also, dense turf is more able to resist weeds. A good fertilization program provides essential nutrients in the amounts needed by the grass. The Best Time to Water Grass in Texas. Mowing Your Lawn: When to Stop For the Winter. Contact your county Extension agent for more information. The best time to water is at 4 a.m. so the soil and roots of the grass can soak it all in before the heat of the day. These watering times differ in severe droughts and shortages. 1. Excess water pressure can cause significant water loss. Purchase a spreader that has a dispersal guard, to keep granules from going unnecessarily onto streets, sidewalks, driveways, and patios. One popular lawn cover is Saint Augustine grass (Stenotaphrum secundatum), a warm-season, shade grass intolerant of freezing temperatures. Have more questions about how Houston’s local watering restrictions affect your lawn and landscape? Soil type affects the amount of water a lawn needs. If your area receives one inch or more of precipitation per week you don't need to water. Calculate the average depth of water from all of the cans. Loam soil lies between clay and sandy soil in its ability to hold water. With low humidity, high temperatures, and/or high winds, water is quickly lost from the soil by transpiration and evaporation (evapotranspiration) and grass will need watering more often. 6 ways to save your untamed turf: Choose the right soil.If you are lucky enough to have bare soil, start with a good layer of fine compost. Therefore, 1 inch of water will need to be applied to wet the soil to a depth of 6 inch- es, giving a total watering time of one hour. Just because the leaves are turning doesn’t mean you should put away your lawn mower just yet. Local lakes and rivers make up Houston’s water supply. Learn how to set your irrigation controller for the recommended sprinkler run times. Aerification of compacted soils once or twice a year helps break up packed layers to allow air and water to reach plant root systems. Use the right tools and methods to deliver the optimal amount. AND … there is the possibility of having your Houston area water service disconnected. You’re probably talking about 6 to 8 hours of watering. Blowing off the rules at Stage Four means a fine starting at a grand or higher – this in addition to surcharges tacked on to your next several water bills. High levels of sodium damage soil quality and affect the ability of water to filter through the soil. During the summer months in North Texas, watering your lawn at night is sometimes a good idea. If a sprinkler head applies water faster than water can seep into the soil, significant water can be lost as run-off. In this example, the system put out .5 inch of water in 30 minutes, wetting the soil 3 inches deep. Pruning - Crepe Myrtles need no pruning. For example, you have used five cans in your yard. Use the following steps to determine how long to run your sprinkler or irrigation system. Sprinklers water the lawn in … The rest comes from deeply-drilled underground wells into the Chicot and Evangeline aquifers. By sticking to a regular watering schedule that fits your lawn’s needs, you can keep your grass healthy, lush, and green all through the hot season. A routine check should be made to ensure that water is being applied where it is needed, in the amount that it is needed, and in a uniform manner. During the periods of prolonged winter drought, if the air temperature is above freezing and the soil isn’t frozen, you should water every two or three weeks for 15 to 20 minutes – just enough to provide moisture to the crown and roots of the plants and counteract the drying effects of winter winds. Experts recommend setting your sprinklers for a 4 am shower . Sticking to the watering rules will help you avoid any sticky situations, later on. Since snow is rare, we need to water the lawn all winter — 1-2 inches of water a week. Houston’s Public Works Department estimates Harris County’s population will exceed 5.5 million people in the next 30 years. If you cut your lawn severely last fall or mow it in winter so that top growth is very short, it will dry out faster. You may be hot, but you can get into hot water if you use too much water in Houston. Also, when should I stop watering my lawn in Texas? It’s important not to miss those allowed watering days, which could result in the grass drying out. Wind and temperatures are usually the lowest of the day, and water pressure is generally good. With average summertime temperatures in the mid-90s, it’s an absolute must to stick with the city’s water conservation plan. Measure the amount of water needed to irrigate your landscape. Water is a limited resource in Texas, and it will become  more limited as the population grows. Sandy soil retains less water than clay soil, but less water is needed to properly wet sandy soil. To time watering properly, look for the area of the lawn that shows water stress first. Repeat this process until the soil is wet to the desired depth. Most homeowners drastically over-water their lawns. When to Stop Watering Plants in Fall. Try to … Established lawns with deep, extensive root systems sometimes can be watered less often. Too much water and watering during the heat of the day is a waste, and it can lead to disease and grass damage. Repair them as soon as possible. Both water and nutrients may seep below the root zone where they are unavailable to plants. Businesses and the like can water the grass on Tuesdays and Fridays. key to watering the Texas landscape wisely is threefold: 1. Over-watering can harm lawn quality more than under-watering. LAWNS: Creating a deep root system is probably the single-most important goal during hot weather. Nutrient deficiencies are just as bad because they stunt roots and shoots and make the turf more vulnerable to disease, insects, weeds and drought. Let the surface dry and then begin watering again. Lawn Watering Rules in Houston and Surrounding Areas In a “normal” summer, water customers can irrigate their lawns between 7 p.m. and 5 a.m. Fungal diseases may take hold if your lawn is overwatered. To time watering properly, look for the area of the lawn that shows water stress first. fall Watering Lawn. Soil compaction keeps water and air from moving into the soil and reduces plant shoot and root development. Grass species vary significantly in their water needs and drought resistance (Table 1). The city and county will put out the word if there are watering restrictions in and around Houston, but think of it this way: When in doubt, prepare for drought. You don’t have to do all that at once, but you do need to put that much water on your new lawn over the period of 1 or 2 days. Stage Three violations can cost you $500 at the very least (up to $2,000). Then stop watering. Use a broadcast spreader to fertilize your lawn with a premium, slow-release 15-5-10 fertilizer to winterize your lawn. Never apply water to the point of run-off. In Houston, Texas, recommended best watering times for lawn grass are during the wee hours of the morning. This is a non-burning fertilizer that does not require watering but, of course, works best when watered in. We just had a cold snap last night - 35 F when I checked late before bed. It's not a good idea to abruptly stop watering if you want your lawn … Lawn Watering in Central Texas Understanding the water needs of our lawns will ensure greater success with maintaining a healthy lawn. If the lawn is overwatered, then there is a risk of fungal diseases. Whether you are a DIY, lawn-loving, gardening guru, or someone who wants help in picking a local lawn care professional, we can smooth your path to a beautiful backyard! Please visit our Houston, TX lawn care page for more information. A Summary of the 2019 Austin, TX Lawn Watering Restrictions Lawn watering restrictions updated for Spring 2019 via austintexas.gov: Residential homes are required to only water two days per week during midnight to 10 a.m and/ or 7 p.m. to midnight. Lawns thrive on regular watering and the sooner it starts getting … Inspect your property for proper drainage, especially when it allows water to run into streets, gutters, alleys and adjacent areas. This is to encourage the absorption of fertilizer into the soil completely and avoid it being washed away. Lawn Tips: Reclaiming your Lawn. Give Texas Wateboys a call to set up an appointment to check your controller settings to make sure it has the correct run times! Certain truisms exist in hot, humid Texas and one is that trees in a landscape will eventually shade the yard, and if the ground cover is grass, it needs to be shade-tolerant or you'll have bare soil and mud. From the amount of water that was applied in the 30-minute cycle and the depth that it wet the soil, you can then determine how long the sprinkler must run to wet the soil to a depth of 6 inches. Texas A&M Veterinary Medical Diagnostics Laboratory, Texas A&M College of Agrculture and Life Sciences. The denser the grass, the less water will evaporate from the soil. Soil type, sprinkler style and water pressure determine how much water is needed to wet the soil to a depth of 6 inches and how long a sprinkler must run. Sprinklers should never water sidewalks, driveways or streets. In some soils, especially heavy clay, it is difficult to irrigate 6 inches deep. Of the three soil types (clay, loam, and sand), clay soil retains the most water and thus needs watering less often. Hence the best time to start watering the lawn in the spring is as early as possible. ... Houston, Texas 77008 713-861-5702 Hours: 10 am – 6 pm Open Every Day – Monday – Sunday. Use the can method to check the distribution and amount of water being applied, and then make any needed adjustments. View more Gardening & Landscaping information ». It allows the grass to soak up more water. In areas of the state where water is high in salts, plant a salt-tolerant grass species, such as Seashore Paspalum, bermudagrass, or Zoysia. Add the depths together and then divide by the number of cans you used (five  in this case), 1.5inch + 0.4 inch + 0.6 inch + 0.4 inch + 1.6 inch = 2.5 inches, 5 cans = 0.5 inch of water in 30 minutes. Water the entire lawn when that area begins to show symptoms. Checking for leaks, dripping faucets, and running toilets. It’s usually warm in Texas well into September and October. While reducing irrigation is an essential part of caring for autumn lawns, don’t stop watering abruptly. Symptoms of drought stress include grass leaves turning a dull, bluish color, leaf blades rolling or folding, and footprints that remain in the grass after walking across the lawn. The way you care for your lawn affects the amount of water it will need. Wikilawn’s mission is to provide the best resources and information to help you enjoy your outdoor spaces the way you want. Water rationing programs and rising water prices are already occurring in some areas of the state. Slow-Release 15-5-10 fertilizer to your lawn, determine which grass species work best for your lawn, consider soil,! Waste water with no loss in grass quality by learning to water and inconvenience wading! Keep fallen leaves raked up so lawn grasses can receive adequate sunlight for proper,. Determine which grass species vary significantly in their water needs of our lawns will ensure greater with! Sprinklers should never water sidewalks, driveways, and it can lead to fines ranging from 100... 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