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Overwatering a Lawn, Trees, or Shrubs in TX: Signs, Tips, & Pro Recommendations

Jack Moore
Jun 15, 2020 11:59:40 AM

When it comes to watering a lawn, a lot of homeowners assume there’s really no right or wrong way to go about this. In fact, we have found that a very common misconception is the idea that there’s no such thing as too much water for a lawn or landscape at your North TX property.

Read These Essential Tips to Irrigation in Texas

But this is not the case at all. Water is absolutely a necessity and ultimately the “life blood” of your lawn, trees, and shrubs. However, you can have too much of a good thing!

In fact, overwatering a lawn or landscape is quite common—oftentimes because homeowners don’t realize that it’s a problem.

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That’s why we’ve put together some helpful tips and considerations to keep in mind as you water.

Why is Overwatering a Problem?

First and foremost, let’s talk about why overwatering can be a problem.

Irrigation watering lane and plants in Texas

Plants growing in soil that is too wet suffer from a lack of oxygen which leads to the death of roots and a loss of vigor in the plant. When you water well-beyond your plants’ needs, essentially, you are drowning it (which is true for turf or for trees and shrubs). 

Stunted slow growth with yellowing leaves is a symptom of overwatering trees and shrubs. Overwatered grass will also turn yellow. You can tell a lawn is overwatered if it feels spongy.

Unfortunately, because drought stress can also turn plants yellow, it’s not uncommon for homeowners to suspect a yellowing lawn or landscape must need MORE water. By ramping up the watering efforts on an already overwatered lawn (or landscape), you can create even more problems and also leave your property prone to diseases.

Why Does Overwatering Happen?

Overwatering trees and shrubs and lawn areas does not just happen when homeowners water by hand. In fact, 99 percent of our clients have an irrigation system. Here in North Texas, irrigation is really important.

Irrigation watering plants and shrubs

This means that overwatering is often happening because of an irrigation problem. 

For example, it could be a leaky system that is putting out more water than it should be. In addition to potentially causing overwatering mistakes, it can’t be ignored that this is downright wasteful both from a cost perspective (literally sending money down the drain) but also from a responsible water utilization perspective. When water is as precious a commodity as it is here in Texas, we hate to see any of it wasted.

But overwatering can also happen in relation to the way in which irrigation systems are programmed. Each area of the landscape has its own specific needs. Turf has certain needs, trees have certain needs, and plants have certain needs. Even mature trees versus young trees have very different watering needs. And certain plant types can have varying needs based on species. Some plants are more drought-tolerant than others.

But irrigation systems are set up in “zones” and sometimes the same zone that is watering some of the grass is also watering some of the plants. This can easily lead to unplanned overwatering.

Identifying Watering Needs on Your Property

The first step toward preventing Overwatering trees and shrubs and overwatering lawns is to identify the very specific watering needs of your property. We like to say that your property is like a “fingerprint” and its watering needs are going to be very unique to your property. Even though a lot of neighborhoods do start out with similar landscaping, usually homeowners end up replacing trees, shrubs, and other plants over time. That means that your watering needs will even be different from your neighbors’.

Once the exact watering needs of your property (lawn and landscaped areas) are determined, then tweaks to your sprinkler system can be made in order to best meet your needs and prevent overwatering problems.

professional plant and shrub irrigation

When it comes to optimal watering, it’s also important to consider smart irrigation technology that can ensure your property is getting what it needs. Today’s irrigation systems utilize weather-based (ET) and on-site rain/freeze sensors which can take the existing weather conditions into account. After all, what’s worse than seeing your sprinkler system kick on in the middle of a rain storm? It’s one of the worst ways to waste water.

This area of irrigation gets incredibly technical. ET, which stands for Evapotranspiration, is the sum of evaporation and transpiration. Understanding the ET rate of all of the plant material (and the turf) on your property is a complicated process but it’s necessary in understanding the exact watering needs of your lawn and landscape. 

A professional can assist and in turn, help you to identify how effective your coverage is with your existing system. Is it adequate or do you need changes?

Landscapes Evolve with Time 

Keep in mind that your property’s needs will change over time. 

If your irrigation needs are not reassessed as the landscape evolves, it could lead to costly problems. The irrigation set-up that you’ve had might have worked fine when your landscape was young but now its needs have changed. Maybe you’ve added plant beds or your shrubs have grown and their needs have changed. 

A landscape is an evolving thing and its needs can change over time. This is why ongoing irrigation evaluations are important. 

Working with a Certified Irrigation Pro for Optimal Results

At Grassperson, we recommend at least bi-annual irrigation checks, in the spring and in the fall. In the spring, we’re making sure that everything looks good as we head into some of the hottest months (and likely drought conditions). We’re making tweaks where they’re needed and repairing anything that isn’t working correctly.

In the fall, we’re making sure that your system is set up for winter when your lawn and landscape needs are going to dramatically change again.

However, we also have plenty of clients who like us to come out for monthly checks during the growing season in order to ensure that everything is performing optimally. Given how vital the proper amount of water is, this gives our clients some peace of mind. 

Taking the Guesswork Out of Watering

At Grassperson, these irrigation maintenance services are part of our Total Maintenance Package, which will cover many of your property maintenance needs. This will remove all of the hassle from your end.

lawn irrigation maintenance crew in North Texas

What is perhaps most appreciated is that it takes the guesswork out of watering—and out of caring for your landscape as a whole.

After all, we understand that you don’t have the time to be worrying about the nuances related to irrigation systems and how to get yours to perform its best. You also really don’t want to be worrying about wasting water or overwatering your lawn and landscape.  

You just want to be able to choose an irrigation company that knows their stuff and can get you the best possible results for your investment. By choosing the Total Maintenance package, you can let go of the worries associated with your lawn and landscape, including its watering needs, and get back to just enjoying your property to the fullest.

Instead of worrying about irrigation and potential overwatering, you can leave it up to a pro who knows exactly what your Northern Texas property needs. Get a Free Quote, then you can enjoy the best lawn and landscape on the block!

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