Determining how much water your landscape needs

Lawn Sprinkler in ActionIt’s indisputable that your lawn and garden need water to live, but how much is enough, and how much is too much? Too little water will stunt or even kill your lawn, garden and container plants, but too much can be just as bad — and cost you money. At a time when we’re all encouraged to conserve water, it’s good to know how much water to give to your yard.

When there’s too much water

It’s sometimes hard to tell when your garden or lawn is getting too much water. Some of the symptoms of overwatering are the same as underwatering. Signs of overwatering include:

  • Wilting plants when the soil is wet — Roots need air as well as water, and constantly flooding the soil means there’s not enough air getting to the roots. That causes them to rot.
  • Brown, wilting leaves — This is also a symptom of too little water. With too little water, wilting leaves are dry and brittle. With too much water, leaves feel soft and limp to the touch.
  • Leaves falling off — When new leaves fall off the plant as much as older ones, it’s a sign of over-watering.
  • Blisters on leaves — Over-watering causes leaf blisters or lesions, which burst and turn into brown or white growths. This happens when leaf cells absorb more water than they can use.

When there’s not enough water

Additionally, there are some signs to monitor to ensure plants are getting enough to drink. More water is probably needed if you notice one or more of the following symptoms:

  • Soil near the base of the plants is hard, dry and cracked.
  • Plants have yellowing or dried leaves near the bottom of the stalk.
  • Leaves show yellow or brown spots.
  • Flowers fall off before they wilt.
  • Roots show at the surface of the soil.
  • The whole plant withers and dies.
  • Plants in containers feel light when you lift them up.

A good test

Push your finger into the soil, or dig a small hole two to four inches deep. If it’s still moist that deep, you have enough water for your plants. If you find it’s moist, and your plants show any of the signs listed above, then reduce your watering.

Here’s another approach: consider Smart Rain’s smart watering systems. Our systems notify property owners of important irrigation management details like water flow, moisture levels, and more, all through advanced sensors and innovative technologies. Coupled with the Smart Rain app, you can control your sprinklers, view rainfall levels and get detailed reports all from the convenience of your smartphone.

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