While it’s sometimes been frustrating, Denver has been fortunate to experience an increase in rainfall this year. Our lawns and gardens require less watering, the temperatures are cooler and the moisture provided savings on our home water bills.
These days of rain signal a change in how we care for our home landscapes.
Watering can be a tricky thing in Colorado. When the temperature rises, our first reaction is to water, but sometimes over-watering can be just as detrimental to a plant’s health as under-watering.
Do you set your sprinkler system on regardless of the weather?
Chances are your gardens, trees and lawns have gotten too much water this summer.
If you continue to water your lawn and gardens when it is raining, the overwatering may be devastating to your landscape. Roots growing in waterlogged soil may die because they cannot absorb the oxygen needed. The result is yellowing and thinning of leaves as well as leaf drop. And when plants are stressed, disease and fungus move in.
Signs you may be overwatering your Denver landscape:
#1: Wilting plants
#2: Mold & mushrooms
#3: Rotting roots
If there was a good rainstorm at your home, you most likely won’t need to water.
The day after the storm, check your soil conditions for moisture. The soil may still be holding in moisture and you can skip watering for that day.
A dry surface is not always a sign of water need. The surface typically dries out first and is not a good indicator of moisture level near the plant root. Dig down to the root zone. If the soil is damp, skip watering for the day.
But don’t totally stop watering!
A heavy rainfall is not a reason to completely stop watering. Skip a watering day or two, but realize that it will not take long for your yard to need normal watering again in our dry Denver Metro climate.
One way to know when to water your grass is to walk across the lawn. If the blades of grass pop right back up, they do not need water. If you see your footprint, they do.
Typically, plants need about an inch of water per week —the actual amount will vary depending on the weather, temperature and wind.
If you do shut your system off because of the weather, don’t forget about it!
Watering needs of newly planted trees and shrubs may differ from the needs of the rest of your landscape.
Young plants have not established deep root systems, and depend on surface water for survival. Do not let the root balls dry out or become too saturated. When plants are fully established, they will require less water.
In summary – be aware of overwatering your landscape
Good thorough (but not “over”) watering promotes healthier plants.
Overwatering will cause your plants to suffer! Not to mention you will be wasting our Colorado water and your own money.