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Overwatering Is Out

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What does your footprint look like?

Knowing if your lawn is getting the right amount of water doesn’t have to be rocket science. The best way I know how to check if a lawn is getting the right amount of water is by giving it the ol’ footprint test. You can say it’s a trick of the trade for us yard experts, but I’ll let you in on the little gnome secret.

Here’s my step-by-step guide to check if your lawn is getting the right amount of water:

  1. Put on your favorite pair of gardening shoes.
  2. Pick a time during the day to walk across your lawn. Later in the afternoon when it is still light outside is preferred if you watered that morning.
  3. Take a few steps, leaps or jumps (whichever you prefer) on your lawn!
  4. Wait a minute or two and then take a look at your lawn.
  5. Ask yourself: Do I see any footprints?

If you don’t see any footprints…

If you don’t see any footprints on your lawn after a few minutes that means your grass is getting sufficient water. But if it felt a little squishy when you stepped on your lawn or you can see some wet footprints on the sidewalk, please check your sprinkler system and adjust your water schedule to prevent overwatering. The footprint test is quick and easy, but if you want something more precise, a soil moisture sensor will prevent your sprinkler system from running if there’s enough moisture in your lawn. Find out how to save money now on soil moisture sensor controllers through the SoCal Water$mart Rebate Program.

If you do see footprints…

If you do see footprints that indicates your lawn’s water level might be a little low. When compressed by your feet, grass with low water tissue levels may have a hard time springing back up. If you can see your footprints for an extended period of time, consider adjusting your water schedule. Need some help with that? Take a minute to view my post on how to create a custom watering schedule to meet the needs of your lawn. Or you can always contact the UCCE Master Gardeners Hotline with any specific questions you may have about your yard.

Nifty trick aye?

Please take a few minutes to go outside and conduct the footprint test on your lawn. But hurry back and tell me what you see in the comment section below!

Photo Credit: University of Florida IFAS Extension

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1 Comment

  1. Overwatering is Out | Moulton Niguel Water District Says:

    April 11th, 2014 at 5:11 pm

    […] If you walk across your lawn and don’t see any footprints, it means your lawn is getting suffi… […]