Gardening Tips for the Week of August 29- September 5

August 31, 2009 at 4:42 pm Leave a comment

 How much should I water my lawn this week? 

For most homeowners, attention to irrigation efficiency has the greatest potential for water conservation.  In the typical home yard, extra attention to irrigation system design, maintenance, and management could reduce water use by 20-50%!  Using locally calculated evapo-transpiration (ET) rates to determine how much water to apply to your lawn will help you conserve water. 

The evapotranspiration rate for the seven day period between August 23-29 was 1.27 inches, calculated for cool season turfgrass in Gunnison.  During this time period, Gunnison received .11 inches of precipitation.  So, watering 1.16 inches will replace the amount of moisture that has been lost through plant transpiration and evaporation from soil during the past week and needs to be replaced to maintain a healthy lawn. 

This is meant to be a general guide to determining your lawn’s irrigation needs.  Please note that micro-climates in your yard and various grass species in your lawn will have considerable effect on your lawn’s actual water needs, so be sure to check soil moisture to a depth of 4-8” with a garden trowel or screwdriver to determine if the root zone of your grass is sufficiently moist.

How do I figure out how long to water my lawn in order to apply the correct amount of water?  Visit this link: http://www.ext.colostate.edu/mg/gardennotes/264-Minute2Inch.html

For more about conserving water through efficient irrigation scheduling, visit: http://www.ext.colostate.edu/mg/gardennotes/265-Scheduling.html

For assistance in establishing an efficient irrigation schedule for your lawn, contact the CSU Extension Office in Gunnison County at 641-1260. 

 Tips for Fall Lawn Care

  •  Fall is a great time to core aerate the lawn.  It will relieve compaction, allow more  oxygen to reach the root zone of the lawn, help reduce fungal problems and improve the overall health of turf.  Consider using an organic top dressing (such as Gunnison Gold compost) on the lawn after aerating, working it into the holes created by aerating.
  • Fall is a good time to renovate and re-seed the lawn.  Eliminate weeds, amend the soil and plant grass seed in areas that need renovation.  Water seeded areas thoroughly after planting and keep moist as long as the ground isn’t frozen.
  • Rake leaves from lawn areas.  Leaves left on lawn will mat and prevent oxygen and moisture from reaching grass.  Use leaves as brown material on your compost pile.
  • Turf areas should receive a late season fertilization with a quick release nitrogen fertilizer, such as ammonium sulfate.  Even though top growth has slowed, the roots of cool season turf grasses are still quite active in Autumn.  Fall fertilization will help lawns green up more quickly next spring without the rapid flush of new growth that often happens after early season fertilization.  Soils in our area naturally tend to have high levels of phosphorous and potassium, so addition of fertilizers with these elements is often not necessary.
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Entry filed under: Weekly Gardening Tips.

Gardening Tips for the Week of August 23-29 Garden Tips for the Week of September 6-12

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