WATERING DURING FALL – WHEN & WHY
When Do I Need to Water During Fall in Idaho?
As fall sets in and the cooler temperatures take over, some people may begin to wonder if they still need to water their lawn. Does the lawn stop growing during these cool months? Should I stop worrying about setting up the sprinkler system?
Fall lawn care has three important elements to remember. First, removal of fallen dead leaves that can create a harmful barrier over the grass and keep it from getting nutrients and sunlight. Second, keeping the grass mowed at the right height to prevent insects and critters from infesting it. Third, proper watering of the lawn to keep the roots strong and moist.
Fall in Idaho can be a tricky time when it comes to lawn irrigation. When the ground is frozen it is not important to water your lawn, simply because the frozen ground would prevent any water from reaching the grassroots altogether. However, the temperatures can fluctuate so quickly in Idaho during the fall months, it is important to monitor the weather and determine if your grass is still in need of irrigation.
Keep Watering Until The Ground Stays Frozen
Idaho is considered a northern winter area, meaning that cold temperatures in these fall and winter months create “desert” like conditions with the soil. This simply means that water is locked up in the form of ice. No matter how much snow or precipitation falls down onto the top of the ground, underneath the soil is not able to receive the moisture it needs, creating a dormancy or sleep-like state in plants. Until this dormancy, or frozen ground is the constant condition of your lawn you should continue to water it. This will keep the roots strong and ready to face the harshness of the freezing temperatures.
Did you know?
Grassroots continue to grow in the fall months creating a strong foundation for your lawn. Grass does continue to grow through the fall season, underground in the root system. This growth that is preparing the grass for a cold winter is considered the foundation of your grass. Growth in these months is important for the long term health of your lawn and will greatly determine how quickly it bounces back during the early spring.
Do not deprive your lawn of water during these critical growing periods for their root foundation.