Burton, Michigan (PressExposure) March 07, 2008 -- Proper watering techniques guarantee the heath and beauty of your lawn and plants. It's important to water your plants deeply. The appearance of your plants reflects how much moisture they have. Yellow, drooping leaves indicate over-watering, while grayish leaves and wilting indicate under-watering. If you can leave a footprint on the grass, it is also an indication of under-watering.
Look at your lawn and plants carefully before watering them to gauge the right amount of water they need. It's best to water early in the morning before 10 a.m. because evaporation is less during these hours. Evaporation is also less during the night, but night watering can encourage fungal infestations.
Your lawn benefits most when it receives 1 to 1.5 inches of water all in one sitting as opposed to small waterings a few times per week. To help with measuring the water you are using I suggest using an empty tuna can as they are typically just over 1 inch tall. Your watering schedule will depend on the rainfall as well because including rainfall you do not want you lawn to receive over 1.5-2 inches of water. So in the Spring and Fall adjust your watering accordingly. Also, bear in mind that clay soils need less watering than sandy soils.
Leaving grass clippings on your lawn is generally a good thing, but when thatch starts to build up at a height more than half an inch, it's time to dethatch your lawn. Doing so will allow the water to access the roots of your grass rather than just slide on the surface. Aeration is also a great technique for allowing air and water to properly enter the ground and your lawns roots.
Conserving water is an important aspect of lawn care, especially in areas where water is limited. Make sure that your watering equipment is working properly as broken sprinklers and hoses waste a lot of water. If you're using sprinklers, set it to water only your lawn and not the pavement, driveway, or sidewalks. You can also mix in peat moss or mulch with your soil in flower beds which retain a lot of moisture needed by your plants.