Well, the calendar says mid-May, but it sure feels like summer in Tulsa. The weather guys announced yesterday that we've had the warmest year-to-date ever for 2012 from January through May. The weather is so boring for May that they were talking about thunderstorms way up in Canada just to have something exciting to talk about. And while we did have some nice rains in mid-march, you take away that rain event, and we've had a very dry spring.
So here we go again. We're trying to grow nice green grass and provide a healthy lawn and landscape and Mother Nature seems to be making it more difficult with this early hot and dry weather. After such a brutal 2011, I would hope that we'd catch a break and have a more normal summer with some rainfall and more moderate temperatures, but it just may not be so. If you are able to irrigate consistently, then your lawn should be doing well. But there is nothing like a good soaking rainstorm to really help plants and turf green-up. So with the prospect for any decent rains pretty slim, it's time to get serious about watering your lawn and landsape if you want it to looks it's best.
Automatic irrigation systems are a great investment and real time saver. If you have one, set it to come on about 3 days a week, early in the morning, for about 20 minutes per cycle. Every system is different, so this is a very general rule. The bottom line is that turf needs about 1.5" of water per week in order to look and perform well. Normally in spring, we recieve that and more many weeks in Tulsa. But it seems that normal weather is a thing of the past or just wishful thinking. So without rainfall, you'll need to apply about 1/2" of water with each watering. Many systems will take longer than 20 minutes to deliver that amount of water to each zone, so you'll need to measure you own system to determine how long to water.
Without an irrigation system, you'll just have to work a little harder by dragging hose and moving your sprinkler around. Early watering is ideal, in order to help prevent turf disease on fescue turf especially, so this may be a challenge without a system. Watering in the evening, when it's more convenient for you to do, is not as big of an issue on bermudagrass lawns. They are not as prone to turf disease as fescue or even zoysia lawns. So if that's the only time you can water, just go for it. For larger lawns, buy a rain train or traveling sprinkler, which if you have enough hose to lay out, will slowly travel over you lawn by following the hose. They work great--just don't forget you have it on or take a long nap as it will keep on spraying when it gets to the end of the line!
Irrigation is one of the most important cultural practices involved in providing a great-looking turf. It's alot more complex than just who you write a check to for your lawncare, or what type of fertilizer is used. Yes, those are important factors, especially since using LawnAmerica is your best bet for professional help. But we need your help. Without water and proper mowing, our efforts will not be nearly as effective compared to a homeowner who does their part in caring for their lawn.
For more detailed information on proper watering, go to our website at http://lawnamerica.com/lawncare-resources/watering-tulsa-lawn/