A: Water deeply and infrequently. Apply 1-1.5 inches of water per irrigation. Determine how long this takes by setting several shallow containers in different areas of the lawn for 30 minutes while irrigating. The average depth of water in these containers multiplied by two is the inches of water per hour emitted by the sprinkler system. For hot days that exceed 85 degrees, you may need to water three or four times a week. It’s very important that established lawns receive at least 2.5 inches of water per week during this time. It’s important, however, that you do not water every day. Less frequent watering is the best way to promote deep growth of grass roots. Watering too much can also result in stress to the lawn.
In addition, don’t water immediately after mowing. Waiting 24 hours allows the grass to heal, and reduces the chance of fungal growth. You should keep an eye on your lawn to determine the need for any increase in the amount of water being applied.
IMPORTANT: lawns grown on sandy soil require more frequent irrigation applications, with less water per application.
Q: WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO WATER MY LAWN?
A: Water early in the morning for the best absorption and less waste, and make sure you water deeply to reach the root zone.
Q: HOW DO I KNOW IF MY SPRINKLER SYSTEM IS WASTING WATER?
A: Get to know your system. Walk your system while it is running (yes, you’ll get a little wet) and look for breaks, leaks and obstructions. Fences, siding, driveways, and sidewalks don’t need water; check if these are wet after your system runs. Review your controller settings – anything more than 3 days a week is too much.
Q: I HAVE AN OLD SPRINKLER SYSTEM, WHAT SHOULD I DO?
A: Upgrade your equipment. Look for pressure-regulating, high-efficiency nozzles and heads. Consider a switch to drip systems, which are efficient, adaptable, and easy to install yourself. For $25-50, a new drip system can be hooked up to your outdoor spigot, or you can retrofit an existing spray or rotor zone. Finally, consider installing a smart controller, which adjusts your watering schedule based on plant type and weather. Bonus! You can easily manage the controller from your smartphone.
Lawn Care Tips In Extreme Heat
Signs of a lawn struggling from heat stress or a lack of water include:
Grass that leaves foot prints after being walked on (grass remains matted).
Lawn looks brown or dead. When temperatures exceed 90 degrees, the lawn may go dormant, which is a natural survival mechanism for Kentucky bluegrass blended lawns.
Use the screwdriver test! Push a screwdriver into the soil. If it doesn’t penetrate the soil easily, it’s too dry, and will become more problematic.