How Long Should I Water my Lawn?

Lawns in Utah require 1 to 2 inches of water per week

WATERING IN 70 TO 80 DEGREE WEATHER

  • Water 2 to 3 times per week
  • Set watering time to achieve 1/2 inch of water per station per day
  • For fan style pop up spray heads, like the one pictured above, average time is 15 to 25 minutes per station (your watering time could vary dramatically)
  • For rotary style head systems, the far shooting rotating kind, average 30 to 40 minutes per station (your watering time could vary dramatically)
  • Follow the watering guide below to determine your exact watering time

WATERING IN 90 TO 100+  DEGREE WEATHER

  • Water 3 to 4 times per week
  • Set watering time to achieve 1/2 – 3/4 inch of water per station per day
  • For fan style pop up spray heads, average time is 25 to 35 minutes per station (your watering time could vary dramatically)
  • for rotary style systems average 40 to 60+ minutes per station (your watering time could vary dramatically)
  • Follow the watering guide below to determine your exact watering time
  • Alert! You will most likely need to hand water some areas – your automated system will not be able to uniformly cover all areas in this heat.  if you only increase your watering time you will drastically over water some areas and probably still have some dry dead spots to deal with.

WATERING GUIDE: HOW TO DETERMINE WATERING TIME PER STATION

  1. Set out flat-bottomed containers at various locations on the lawn, both in the healthy areas as well as in the brown areas. (a tuna can works well for this purpose)
  2. Turn the sprinkler system on and run it for a set amount of time (usually for a complete cycle, but a shorter amount of time may be used).
  3. Measure the amount of water accumulated in each container. (a tuna can is one inch tall)
  4. Multiply that by the number of times you water each week.  That will give you the total inches of water you use per week.
  5. Adjust accordingly.  By placing containers in browning areas as well as green areas, you can determine if there is a need to adjust certain sprinklers to get better coverage.

 


QUICK RULES OF THUMB

  • Rotary nozzle style heads that shoot over a long distance require a much longer watering time than pop up fan spray heads.  They are also more effected by wind and water pressure
  • Wind and water-pressure change with the time of day.   This can seriously effect your water coverage (morning is often the windiest time and has the lowest water pressure)
  • More people watering in the high heat months means less water pressure (one reason why you will need to supplement with some hand-watering)
  • In the spring and mid season you may need to clean the filters in your sprinkler system, including the ones on individual heads
  • Soil Compaction:  Hard compacted soil will not allow water to penetrate.  Compaction is usually not uniform so water will run off the compacted areas and soak into the more porous soil.  This will cause dead spots and over watered grass right next to each other.

 SIGNS OF A DRY LAWN – BEFORE IT TURNS BROWN

  • Your footprints will remain visible in the grass after you walk across it. Dry grass won’t spring up quickly; it will remain flat.
  • The grass will start to have a bluish/gray color to it. This is one of the first signs of watering problems.
  • Grass blades will fold along the center vein and look thin and needle like.  Well watered grass will be wide and flat
  • The soil must be wet or moist at all times – It can never be dry or dusty, not even for 1 day.  If you can’t pinch the soil into moist ball it is too dry.

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