Some people say sunshine is the best medicine, and for your lawn, it certainly can be true! It is fairly common knowledge that plants need nutrients, water, carbon dioxide and of course, sunlight to survive. If you want your turf to thrive, it needs to receive the right amount of sunlight—not too little, or too much. For most varieties of lawn grasses, four – six hours of direct sunlight per day is optimal for survival. Even shade-tolerant species of grasses can thrive on as little as four hours of sunlight. So what do you need to know about sunlight and your lawn? Read on for all the details!
What Does Sunlight Do For My Lawn?
Sunlight nurtures your turf, or any plant, through photosynthesis. During this process, chloroplast cells in the plants absorb the energy of the sun, which is then converted into food.
What Could Prevent My Lawn From Getting The Right Amount Of Sunlight?
Sometimes, receiving the right amount of sunlight on your lawn is easier said than done. In many areas, especially older neighborhoods, you may encounter larger trees. These trees can look majestic, but their thick canopies obscure the direct sunlight your lawn needs to thrive. It is not uncommon to see lawns with the shaded areas, underneath trees, with patches of thinning or dying grass.
What Can I Do About My Lawn Not Getting Enough Sunlight?
Some judicious tree trimming can help the sunlight and your lawn achieve the balance it needs for optimal growth. Trimming lower limbs and interior branches can open patches in the canopy. This means sunlight can break through, letting precious solar rays reach your turf while also improving airflow for the tree. For these types of trimmings, we strongly suggest you seek the services of a professional, who can make these adjustments without harming the overall health of your tree.
What If My Lawn Is Getting Too Much Sunlight?
Just as a plant can be overwatered, your turf also can receive too much sunlight. This happens when there is overexposure to the sun’s damaging rays. Excessive infrared exposure causes heat stress in your lawn. This triggers grasses and plants to shut down their photosynthetic process so that they no longer are able to convert solar energy into food.
Heat-stressed or sunburned turf also is prone to infection by bacteria or fungus. Therefore, these grasses are more prone to damage from additional stresses during the warm-weather months, such as; mowing the grass too short, insect damage, poor soil drainage, or just wear and tear.
The radiation contained in the sun’s rays can also deteriorate the quality of your turf in a variety of ways, such as:
- –Ultraviolet radiation can damage the cellular DNA and epicuticular waves on the surface of the grass
- –Infrared radiation can cause epidermal damage, or overheat the turf.
What Can I Do To Make Sure My Turf Gets The Right Amount Of Sunlight?
There is a tried and tested way to make sure sunlight and your lawn are attaining the perfect equilibrium. At Superior Spray Service Inc., our team of professionals uses the LightScout DLI 100. This technology allows us to compare light between multiple locations on your lawn simultaneously. The meter can run for up to 24 hours, calculating your lawn’s Daily Light Integral. We use this diagnostic tool to evaluate how much sunlight is actually reaching your turf, and then make recommendations following our findings.