Tampa Bay's wet weather, sprinklers hurting lawns - WFLA News Channel 8

Tampa Bay's wet weather, sprinklers hurting lawns

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TAMPA, FL (WFLA) -

If your lawn is looking shabby, you might be watering too much. Lawn experts say homeowners need to adjust their watering schedules during rainy periods.

Matthew Taylor of Green Solutions in Tampa says his phone is ringing from homeowners with the same complaints.

"We see disease, fungus in the turf," Taylor said.

During dry periods, homeowners complain of brown lawns, but recent wet weather has caused the opposite problem: too much water.

That's because many people program their sprinklers to water when allowed by county code, and then forget about it. So even when it's raining, they're watering.

"If you have five days of water in a week, you probably don't need to water two days on top of that," Taylor said.

But before you just turn off the sprinkler system, consider this:

"You could have several rain events day after day after day and then have no rain for say two or three days and begin to see drought symptoms begin appear in the turf grass."

So, how do you find that happy watering medium? Taylor recommends a rain sensor. A cork inside the sensor swells when it gets wet and breaks an electrical connection inside the unit which sends a signal to turn the irrigation controller off.

The sensor won't always keep the fungus away during periods of excessive rain, but Taylor says it will keep it from getting worse.

Another handy trick to make sure you're not watering too much is to keep a range gauge in your yard. After it rains, Taylor says, if you have at least 1/2 inch of rain, there's no need to water again.

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