Grass grows slowly during the winter. It requires a lot less watering and mowing. You should set your irrigation to manual to handle your winter watering. You should water your lawn only when it shows signs of wilt. This occurs when about half the blades are folded and appear a blue-gray in color or footprints remain in the grass.
Winter water needs to be applied to plants when temperatures are above freezing. The soil cannot be frozen either since water has to penetrate the ground. If the temps drop to below freezing after the water is applied, don’t worry. There won’t be any harm to plants.
It’s important to note that the type of soil in your lawn affects your winter watering needs. Coarser, sandy types of soil absorb water faster but retain the water less than other types of soil. They’ll need to be watered more often, regardless of season. However, a heavy, clay soil will absorb your water slowly. You also may want to split up watering times to prevent runoff water.
With warm-weather grasses, like the ones we use in Texas, you usually won’t need to water during the winter, but times of low humidity and high wind can dry grass out. If this occurs, your lawn may be a prime candidate for a condition called winter kill. This is just a loss of turf grass during the winter months. Various things can cause it including dehydration.
One solution may be to get a smart irrigation controller. These utilize weather stations or soil moisturizer sensors to determine when and how long to run an irrigation cycle. These controllers ‘automatically’ know when your lawn needs to be watered and carry out the task for you. These controllers can save you money and time. You won’t waste water or have to continuously change run times due to changes in the weather. Some users have saved up to 50% of their irrigation water bill by using these smart sensors.
Emerald Lawns wants you to do the best you can for your lawn during the winter and the rest of the year. If you have a question about winter watering your lawn, give us a call. We can be reached at 512-990-2199 anytime.