So my two questions (from above) are (1) what do you mean by "the lawn drying out"?
Does that mean it starts to turn brown? Yes, I am a novice with lawns.
And (2) how deep should it dry out? I ask because I had to put a couple of posts in the ground last June, and noticed that the soil on top was dry, but because of all the rain, the soil about 6" down was still wet. Should I use the depth of the roots plus some distance below that in order to convince the roots to go deeper, or just the depth of the roots? Or maybe depth plus distance (maybe 1/2"?) until the roots reach a certain depth, and if so how deep are we aiming for the roots to get?
Thanks so much, Tim
Let me start off by saying I have been Organic for a little over a year. I still have so much to learn. Most of my information has come from this forum and the Article Library.
I will answer your questions as best I can. There might be others who will post with different suggestions. And that is good! When that happens I take in all the info and then decided what works best for my lawn's needs.
Watering can be tricky because there are many factors to consider. Which is why the tuna cans placed in different areas of your yard is a good place to start. You might find that even though you run your zones for the same amount of time, some areas of your yard are getting more water. And your shaded areas usually require less water. Also think about your plants. Do they need as much water as your grass? Do you and your neighbors overlap in watering? If so, are these areas getting too much water?
So that is the guide lines I used deciding how long I needed to water.
In the winter, I usually water every two weeks. If we have rain or snow, I do not water. I do also keep in mind our temps. Right now, we are in the 70's. It is possible I will not go 2 weeks. I have a very simple way of checking my yard for dryness. I stick a long handle screw driver in my yard. If it comes up dry, I water. Another way to check for dryness is to walk on your grass. If you see your footprints, your grass is getting dry. This works better in the Spring and Summer when your grass is green.
Also, always water in the morning. Never in the late afternoon or evening. This is so important for St. Augustine turf.
Deep root, infrequent watering is good for your foundation. Also, weeds like moist soil.
Tim, I have found local nurseys to be very helpful too.
I hope this helps a bit!
Flower Mound, TX