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Overusing Sprinkler Irrigation Systems: Signs of Overwatering

July 27, 2016

Sprinkler irrigation systems can work wonders when it comes to watering your lawn and keeping plants looking fresh and healthy. When lawns don’t receive enough water, plants can dry out and become brown, but too much water is not a good thing either. Here are the signs that you’ve overwatered your lawn:

Fungal Growths
If sprinkler irrigation systems are overused, excess water that is not absorbed into the soil will linger around on grass blades and plant leaves. This excess water promotes the growth of fungi including mushrooms and rust fungus, which is a reddish orange type of grass that grows in moist conditions. If you notice either of these fungi growing in your yard, take a close look at your watering schedule. Learn more about how to deal with grass fungal diseases in your yard.

Surface Water
One of the most common signs of overusing sprinkler irrigation systems is excess water on the surface of your grass. If you feel your feet seeking into a puddle as you walk across the lawn, or the surface of the lawn feels spongy, you need to cut back on watering.


Mosquitos thrive in areas with standing water, so if you’re overusing sprinkler irrigation systems, you may notice an influx of these pesky little bugs flying around. But, mosquitos aren’t the only insects that you have to worry about. Overwatering also attracts beetles and worms, which thrive in damp areas and feed on your grass. Not only will you have to fight off insects, but you’ll also have to replace any plants or grass patches that have been destroyed by these bugs.

When sprinkler irrigation systems are overused, lawns become vulnerable to weeds. Some weed species such as smooth crabgrass and yellow nutsedge grow especially well in areas that have been overwatered. To prevent these weeds from taking over your lawn, cut back on watering your lawn and remove the weeds, making sure to get the entire root out of the ground.

Thatch is a combination of slightly decomposed plant leaves, roots and stems that naturally forms on top of your lawn over time. Haven’t seen it? Thatch lies very close to the soil’s surface beneath the grass blades, so it’s not easily visible. This excess plant material is beneficial to your grass’s health. It helps prevent damage caused by foot traffic and lawn mowers and slows water loss. However, when sprinkler irrigation systems are overused, the microorganisms that break down thatch cannot do their jobs, and thatch begins to build up. Once it is around one-inch thick, thatch stops helping your lawn and begins to hurt it by preventing oxygen from making its way to the roots. Too much thatch also creates the ideal environment for bugs to start breeding and feeding on your lawn. If you begin to notice thatch building up underneath grass blades, this is a sign that you are overwatering your lawn.

Want more advice to help you maintain a healthy lawn? Let our team of professionals with over 35 years of experience help you with your lawn care needs! Contact J&R Sprinklers at 303-688-5909 to get a free estimate today!