Tag Archives: landscaping

How Much Water for My Lawn Really?

Water sprinklerHow much water does a lawn need? In general, turf grasses need about 3/4 to 1 inch of water per week to maintain green color and active growth. However, during certain times in the summer when high temperatures are the norm, you should allow lawns to naturally slow down in growth. You can let the lawn go almost completely dormant in hot weather. In hot weather you may need an inch of water only about every three days.

In general, water as infrequently as possible. When you do water, water thoroughly so that moisture soaks down to the roots. One deep watering is much better than watering several times lightly. Watering to a depth of 4 to 6 inches encourages deeper, healthier root development. It also allows longer periods between watering. Early morning or night is the best time for watering, as less evaporation will occur at these cooler times

Landscaping against building exterior

Why do we home inspectors care about landscaping elements that are in direct contact with the building exterior?  It’s really because, in our moist environment, with landscaping elements right up against the exterior, elevated moisture conditions don’t have time to dry out which can lead to insect damage.  In my reports, I typically recommend providing eighteen (18) inches clearance; however, recognizing this isn’t always practical, or desirable, at least ensure there’s space between landscaping elements and the building exterior.  This photograph was taken at a recent home inspection in Friday Harbor on San Juan Island.

Lawn care

A healthy, rhizome-based lawn is a good barrier to choke out weeds and foreign grasses. For an established lawn, check with a local nursery for when and what to use to fertilize (usually about 1 pound of nitrogen per 1000 square feet, watered immediately) to get the fertilizer close to the roots. Depending on climate, about an inch of water per week will suffice. It’s better to water deeply and over a longer period of time than shallowly and frequently. Mowing in the spring will help bring your lawn out of dormancy. Mowing causes the grass to shift more energy to growing blades than growing roots. Never cut more than one third of the blade off when you mow. Clippings will return the nutrients and water to the soil as long as they are not so thick as to prevent sunlight from reaching the lawn below.

August gardening to-do list

About.com Gardening says, “For many gardeners the month of August begins the downhill slide into off season. Warm climate gardeners have a second chance, but some don’t have a second wind after summer’s heat. Your garden is hardier than you think and there are plenty of gardening tasks for August that will keep your flower and vegetable gardens going longer, as well as opportunities to get a head start on next year’s garden plans.” Here’s a Garden To-Do List for the sultry month of August.