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How to determine watering time per sprinkler station

We wish we could simply tell you how long to water per day to achieve a green lawn, but systems vary too much.  Here is the best way 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.
  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.
  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.

To avoid over-watering your lawn, try to water less frequently for longer periods of time. This is called deep watering. For example, try to deep water 2 or 3 times a week for 45 minutes instead of 6 times a week for 15 minutes.

Watering your lawn less frequently for longer periods of time will allow your grass to grow deep roots, resulting in healthy, green grass that can withstand very dry weather conditions.

You should always deep water your lawn, except for when you overseed or re-sod. When you put down fresh seed or turf, you need to keep the soil damp to encourage growth, so you should water daily until the new grass takes root. Once the grass is well-established, return to a deep watering cycle to train the roots to grow deep.

Check out our watering video for more helpful tips: