How much water is enough?


If you’re like me, your water bill goes up significantly beginning in May — there’s the garden, and there’s our usual droughtiness. This year, as you might imagine, our water usage has been higher than normal.

The drought this year has been bad. What happens when grass doesn’t get enough water is that it goes dormant. Not so bad, really — the grass usually springs right back to life with a little rainfall or water. If the drought is severe enough, your lawn might need re-seeding in the fall. Again, not a terrible outcome from a drought. Nothing we can’t fix. And sometimes we just can’t keep up with the need for water — especially when there are watering restrictions.

The real problem comes, ironically, from OVER-watering.

A lot of people think that all watering is good, and that “you just can’t water too much.”

Fact is, you can over-water. And when you do, you can encourage fungal diseases AND end up mowing your grass too often. The worst part, though, is that by over-watering, you can send fertilizers and pesticides from your lawn and garden onto paved surfaces, which affects local water quality, and finally the water will run off into the Chesapeake Bay, create algae blooms, and continue to choke life that used to flourish there.

We don’t need any more problems with the Chesapeake Bay, so please follow these suggestions for a healthy lawn:

1. Your lawn needs about an inch of water a week. You can measure how much you’re watering (either by hand or by sprinkler) by placing an empty tuna or pet food can in the area you’re watering. Check it after each rainfall or watering.

2. Water early in the day (5 am to 10 am) when evaporation loss is lowest. Afternoon watering is OK, but can be uneven because it’s usually windier in the afternoon than the morning. Night watering isn’t a good idea, because it promotes fungal diseases.

3. Make sure you’re watering the lawn (not sidewalks, driveways, and roads) so that you’re not promoting runoff.

4. Mow your grass at a high blade height, which encourages a stable root system. Longer blades of grass also shade the soil and can help your yard tolerate drought.

5. For gosh sake, ENJOY that lawn of yours! Throw a party. Play croquet. It’s not as much fun if you just look at it.

Read more about it:

Summer Lawn Management, Virginia Cooperative Extension Service

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Always Helpful

Brian came out last week to try to assess a problem we are having in our yard.  He arrived on time, was extremely courteous and took a considerable amount of time analyzing our situation.  While he was unable to reach a solution, he did take the time to research and recommend another business that might be able to help us.  That kind of customer service will make us more likely to call on Hertzler & George if other issues arise.  Thanks, Brian!


Five Stars All Around

We hired H&G to help us re-do our landscaping after a different local landscaping company did a sub par job with plant selections and installations. That company also was very hard to deal with. H&G stepped right up with Jennifer creating a new planting scheme comprising of native plants with some we had never seen before and which we love! She is extremely knowledgeable and pleasant to work with – a true landscaping charm! Jon did the installations and also did a fantastic job. He was very meticulous on planting and finishing the job neatly with mulch. Unlike that other company’s installer, Jon left us extremely happy with the job done. Customer service on the phone – pleasant, patient and helpful. The only, and ever so minor aspect of their work, is they don’t offer a guarantee on the plants or install. I suppose that’s becoming industry standard. However, now looking over all the plantings with a bit of time passing, I am confident that there won’t need to be any replacements. Watering is of course the key element. Thank you H&G, the country cottage landscaping we’ve wanted is now ours – FIVE STARS!

Chris Dombrowski
Ford's Colony | Homeowner

True professionals

Had these guys build a surface-grade patio in May 2023. They looked at the project, sent me a proposed scope of work and contract via email, took a deposit of 1/2 the total via bank transfer. They set a date weeks later to start the job. They showed up on time, worked professionally and cleaned up at the end of the day. Whole job took 3 days, and they even replaced all the patio furniture on the last day. The final product was precisely what I asked for, done in a high-quality, workmanlike way.

H&G are not the cheapest guys out there, but for the extra money you get a professional product, professionally executed, on time, on budget. Honestly: I don’t think it gets any better than that.


Ken Blakely

Beyond Satisfied

We had an ugly uneven weedy patio and a driveway that needed reshaping and gravel. The transformation is stunning. Your representative Brian was patient and helpful in designing repairs to our satisfaction and your work crew was exceptional. Edwardo the work site foreman was extremely knowledgeable and professional and created a beautiful patio. His crew was superior.

Tim & Cynthia Porter

Joe Hertzler goes the extra mile

Hertzler and George were contracted to perform some landscaping for a seller of mine to get the home ready to show. They had just finished an extensive re-landscaping of the next door neighbors entire yard. I was very impressed by their attention to detail and their desire to satisfy their client. Joe Hertzler goes the extra mile to achieve complete client satisfaction. They provide a complete mix of landscaping design services and maintenance of existing landscaping

Tim Parker
Liz Moore Real Estate