Florida spring brings increasing temperatures without the relief of daily summer showers. Grass and other plants will require more water than in winter, but overwatering can be just as damaging as drought. Keep your lawn and plants properly watered to maintain a healthy landscape.
In central and south Florida, daytime temperatures have climbed back to the mid- to high 80’s, but we’re not yet into the summer season of daily rains. The increased heat without adequate water poses a challenge for lawns, trees, container plants, and bedding plants.
The simple solution, to ensure these plants receive the water they need, isn’t as cut-and-dried as one might assume. Here are some guidelines for providing your plants with just the right amount of water this spring.
Imagine driving by a large property with a beautiful ranch style home that’s surrounded by an acre or two of St. Augustine grass . . . and it’s all dry and brown. The condition of a lawn informs, in part, how friends, neighbors, and potential buyers see the condition of your home.
To keep grass thriving as temperatures rise, follow these guidelines:
- Rule of thumb: water two days per week. Consult a reliable resource, such as the University of Florida’s IFAS Extension, to determine how frequently to water a lawn in your specific region.
- Know that sprinklers should deliver the same amount of water year-round: between ½ inch and ¾ inch per session.
- Program sprinklers to run before 10 a.m. After that, much water gets lost to evaporation.
Remember that the above points are guidelines. Do a little research on your own to ensure you’re watering your lawn in precisely the way it needs, as determined by the type of grass, region, season, areas of shade vs. sun, etc.
Keeping Other Plants Hydrated
Now imagine driving past that same large property as before, except that this time the lawn is lush and full, yet every other plant has withered or wilted. Not much better, is it? Proper watering doesn’t only apply to lawns!
Here are some tips for keeping the rest of your plants well-hydrated:
- Make sure sprinklers reach beds that border the house, lie on the perimeter of the property, or are surrounded by obstacles such as fences.
- Schedule hand watering of remaining plants three times per week or so. Indoor herbs, hanging Boston ferns, or container plants on a patio are examples of those that may be inaccessible to the sprinkler system.
- Allowing enough time between watering for the soil to dry out a little encourages roots to reach deeper in their search for water. Watering too much or too often hinders roots from developing into robust systems.
Keeping plants in beds, pots, or containers properly watered doesn’t have to be laborious! Just remember to do it regularly, and do a quick check on individual plants a couple of times a week to make sure they’re getting the water they need.
Watering Made Simple
The rising temperatures of spring will continue, but summer rains will be here before we know it. Until then, watering your lawn and other plants correctly is crucial.
So here’s the one-line summary: run sprinklers early in the day, twice a week, to deliver ¾ inch of water, and regularly hand water everything they don’t reach.
Easy, right? Yes! But it’s also an essential part of maintaining a healthy landscape and a beautiful home.