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Overwatering the lawn and plants on your property can kill your grasses and gardens

Water is an increasingly precious resource business owners, property managers, and homeowners need to use conservatively. Not only to save money but excessively watering your lawn and gardens can detrimentally impact the health and vitality of your outdoor greenspace.

What many people may not realize is more plants die from excessive watering than those on properties whose owners take a restrained, minimal approach to watering. Furthermore, and according to data from Statistics Canada, despite improvements in household water consumption between 2006 and 2011, Canada remains one of the largest per capita users of fresh water in the world.

There’s nothing wrong with showing your grass, plants, and trees a little H2O love, but if you’re overdoing it, it will drain the soil from your land and become waterlogged. That, in turn, will cause the roots of your plants drown from a lack of oxygen, stunt their growth, or cause plants to rot.

The Telltale Signs of a Drowning Lawn

There are two easy ways to tell if you’re watering your lawn and garden too frequently: yellow grass and a lot of insects.

Yellow patches on your lawn (or yellowing leaves on plants) indicate overwatering, not dehydration. When roots of plants are drowned by a lack of oxygen and starved of nutrients in the soil, leaves of plants and blades of grass will turn yellow.

Moreover, insects thrive in damp, dank, dark places. Your overwatered lawn or garden may become a breeding ground for a plethora of insect larvae, moths, and maggots. While insects are important to the health of ecosystems, overwatering will encourage lawn- and plant-eating bugs to thrive.

Tips for Watering Your Property

There are a few simple steps you can take to prevent overwatering your lawn, plants, and trees and ensure their health and vitality:

  • Water your property less often, but when you do, water it for a longer period of time. This will help the water to penetrate deep into the ground, prevent over-watering, and ensure an even distribution of moisture.
  • Add compost, mulch, or other organic matter to the soil in your garden to improve drainage.
  • Prioritize the plants you water. For example, recently planted trees or shrubs have yet to develop deep roots, and therefore, depend on surface water to survive. More mature plants require less water.
  • Consider planting thirsty, water-loving plants and grasses for areas of your garden or lawn that don’t drain well such as iris and crinum lilies for the garden, and Indian grass or northern sea oats grass for your lawn.

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