Lawn Watering Techinques : Lawn Care Tips
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Lawn Watering Techinques

by Gregory Walker on 04/22/12

The proper amount of watering and technique is vital to ensuring a healthy green lawn.  Over-watering can be just as detrimental as not enough water.

Two methods can be used to determine if your lawn is getting enough water.  You can simply walk on your lawn.  If footprints remain on the lawn for a long period your lawn needs more water.  On a properly watered lawn footprints should disappear in minutes.  Another way to check is push a screwdriver into the lawn.  It should be able to be pushed in easily and soil moist to about 6 inches.

Keep in mind there is no two exact lawns and therefore each lawn will differ on the amount of water needed.  Clay soils will need less water and sandy soils will need more.  Typically a range of 1/2 inch to 11/2 inches of water is required every 2-3 days during the months of June-August, and 3-4 days during the cooler months.  You can check how much water your sprinkler system puts out by setting a measuring cup out during a water cycle.  See the amount of water being put out during this time and then adjust your time as necessary.  Remember each type of sprinkler head delivers different amounts of water.  Try not to mix sprinkler heads on the same zone.  The biggest difference is between a regular pop-up head and a rotor head.  The pop-up head is watering the entire area consistently while the rotor head is only hitting the same spot every so often.  Therefore, rotor heads will need a longer watering time than pop-up heads.

The idea is to get the water deep into the soil not the frequency of water.  Run-off is a major problem of most lawns.  The longer the sprinkler is on the more likely water is being lost to run-off.  To ensure proper watering try splitting the time required to get the desired amount of water into 3 separate cycles.  Example: If it takes 15 minutes to get 1/2 inch of water try watering in 5 minute cycles with an hour in between.  This is easy to do, split up your watering times of each zone and than simply create 3 different start times back to back.

As well as the proper watering amount the watering time is also equally important.  Living in the desert we all know not to water during the day.  Much of the water is lost to evaporation.  But watering to late in the evening is also damaging to your lawn.  If water sits all night in the cool temperatures this can lead to fungal diseases.  The best time to water is early morning.

If you need help adjusting your watering times or sprinklers give us a call at (801)423-1832.

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