Select A Sprinkler That Best Fits Your Needs
Automatic irrigation systems with pop-up sprinklers are often associated with excessive irrigation. However, properly designed and operated systems supply water uniformly over an entire area without wasted runoff.
Missouri soils generally have low water-infiltration rates. Automatic controllers can be set to supply several short cycles so that the total amount of water desired is supplied without runoff.
The most common type of watering occurs with hose-end sprinklers. Some studies have shown that the average homeowner applies 2-1/2 times the amount of water required for overgrowth when using hose-end sprinklers.
Several types of hose-end sprinklers are available . Select one that best fits the size and shape of your lawn, and operate it efficiently. All hose-end sprinklers can be attached to inexpensive timers that can be used to shut off unattended sprinklers and avoid overwatering.
Figure 1Some sprinkler types and their applications
S To Calculate How Much Water Your Lawn Needs
Watering your lawn should seem like a pretty easy concept. However, do you really know how long you should be watering? Chances are that when lawn care companies tell you to provide your lawn with one inch of water a week, your mind goes a bit fuzzy. Like when we’re lost, most of us won’t admit that we may need a bit of help to figure out how long we should run our sprinkling system for to give our lawn that 1-2 inches per week that it needs. Well Magellan, your in luck! We’ll calculate how long you should be watering your lawn in 3 easy steps.
1. Proper Sprinkler System Spacing & Gallons Per Minute – When the landscaping company installed your irrigation system, they use a technique called “head-to-head” spacing. This is where the sprinkler heads are placed in a grid, with each heads spray pattern reaching the heads next to it.
The diagram to the right shows four sprinkler heads spaced “head-to-head.” Spacing depends on the amount of water that each sprinkler head puts out. In this example, each sprinkler head emits two gallons per minute. At this rate, the sprinkler throws it’s water approximately thirty feet away. Placing sprinklers in a “head-to-head” grid like this, ensures equal amounts of water over your lawn.
More Information On Watering During Drought Conditions
How To Tell If Your Lawn Has Been Watered Enough
There are some simple tricks that will determine if a lawn is receiving enough water. First, does it look healthy? If it looks healthy, then it probably is which means stick to what you are doing. Another way to determine if your lawn needs to be watered is to submerge a screwdriver into the grass. If it easily sinks 6 to 7 inches, then your lawn is receiving an adequate amount of water each week. If not, it is probably time to make a change to your watering routine.
Be ready for changing weather and be aware of when a lawn needs more feeding and fertilizing. Give lawns an organic fertilizer and compost in fall and spring and cut back on watering when dry days turn to rainy ones.
If you see mushrooms growing in your grass, it is most likely due to overwatering. The best next step is to decrease the amount of watering until the mushrooms are gone.
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Will Watering Brown Grass Bring It Back
How to Revive Brown Grass. Naturally, rain will revive a brown lawn. However, if rainfall is insufficient watering the lawn deeply once a week will help your lawn to spring back to green. With Gilmour’s Pattern Master Circular sprinkler, you can customize the spray area so you water only the lawn and not the sidewalk.
Environmentally Friendly Tips For Greener Lawn Watering
- Mow to a height of 2-3 inches, leaving taller grass blades to shade the soil and limit evaporation.
- Set an alarm to avoid forgetting that sprinklers are running.
- Use a sprinkler head that sprays larger droplets to avoid losing water through evaporation or wind.
- Consider seeding with a drought-tolerant lawn type.
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How Long Should I Water The Lawn
You should water your lawn once or twice a week, giving your grass 1 to 1.5 inches of water each time. The precise number of minutes for each watering will vary from lawn to lawn, depending on factors like the size of your lawn, the type of sprinkler you have, and its settings.
Here are a few methods for finding the number of minutes you should water your lawn.
- Do a can test: Tuna cans are 1 inch tall, and work best for this method. Empty one out, and set it in an area that your sprinkler hits. Turn your sprinkler on, and check the can periodically to see how long it takes to get ½ of an inch of water in there. You can use that to find how many minutes you need to water either once or twice a week.
- Break it down mathematically: Your sprinkler system will have a designated flow rate of gallons per minute, which you can find out from the manufacturer. To find out the number of minutes to run your sprinkler, multiply your lawns square footage by 0.62 gallonswhich is 1 inch of water per square footthen divide that total by the sprinkler flow rate.
- Look at a flow timer: Youll need a timer that measures flow in hundreds of gallons. Multiply the square footage of your lawn by 0.62 gallons, and that will tell you how many gallons you need to give your lawn the water it needs.
What Watering Equipment To Use
A sprinkling system is an easy and comfortable way to keep your garden hydrated. Sprinklers can be fixed in the ground, put on stands or travelling across the lawn during watering. If you connect your sprinklers to a watering computer, you can even leave on a holiday knowing your lawn and plants will be taken care of.Many lawns have spots that require more water than the rest of the lawn. Install a rain barrel and use the harvested water to water these spots by hand.
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How Do I Tell If My Lawn Needs Water
Regularly check your lawn for signs it needs a drink dry, wilting or discoloured leaves are a good indication that you may need to turn your sprinklers on. The footprint test is another simple way to check how hydrated your lawn is. Walk across your lawn and see how long it takes for the grass to bounce back. If you can hardly see your footprint, your lawn is adequately hydrated, but if it leaves a mark or is slow to bounce back your lawn needs a drink.
The difference between short 10 minute waters frequently to longer, deep waters less frequently.
How Much Water Should I Use
Remember that you dont need to worry about watering every day. Grass needs about an inch to an inch and a half of water each week, either from rainfall or irrigation.
Water the lawn until the top six or eight inches of soil is wet, which should give the grass the inch of water it needs. You can apply this inch in a single session or spaced out over two half-inch watering sessions during the week.
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Watering Different Lawn Types
How long to water lawn varieties and how to care for the different types will depend on several factors, including the season, the zone you are in and most importantly the type of grass you are growing. Different lawn types will have different watering and overall care needs, so it is important to pay attention to the type of lawn that is growing. Once you know how much to water a specific lawn type, it is easy to set a schedule that will give thirsty lawns the perfect amount of water all season long.
Warm-Season Grasses Warm-season grasses such as zoysia and bermuda grass grow best when the air temperature is above 80 degrees. They slow down when daytime temperatures start to drop, but they still need moisture to remain healthy. Continue to water them as long as the grass is growing and needs regular mowing. Fall is not the time to fertilize warm-season lawns. Wait until spring, when the active growing season begins.
Cool Season Grasses Cool-season grasses, such as bluegrass, fescue and rye, are actively growing in the fall, recovering from summer dormancy. Cool fall temperatures keep evaporation rates low, but these grasses still need an inch to an inch and a half of water every week until frost ends the growing season. Cool-season grasses are also typically fertilized in the fall, and watering after fertilizing is important to wash the fertilizer off the blades of grass and down into the soil.
How To Tell When Its Time To Water Your Lawn
A lawn that has dried out and needs watering will often fall dormant and turn a duller shade of green or even brown. Before reaching the dormancy stage, some types of grass will even begin to wilt or bow when they are in need of watering.
A screwdriver or a hand spade are also good tools for assessing the moisture in your lawn.
If it is difficult to get your tool into the ground, then it is very likely too dry. Do this test intermittently while watering to ensure that it has reached deep into the soil. Its best to saturate the soil with moisture to a depth of 6 to 8 inches when watering.
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Other Watering Guidelines To Consider:
- Proper watering is critical to your lawns health and vigor. Deep and infrequent watering is the best practice. During the hotter months of the year, the lawn will require more water, so that may mean ¾ of irrigation at a time rather than the ½ of irrigation typically required in the cooler months. This means wetting the soil to a depth of 4-6 inches per irrigation.
- Water at times of low wind.
- Water during the very early morning rather than in the afternoon or evening to minimize the risk for disease.
- To reduce water runoff and to help water penetrate and soak deeply into the soil, we recommend a Cycle and Soak watering schedule. Instead of watering for a long period of time and allowing the water to run off into the street, divide the total watering time per zone by 3. Water 3 shorter intervals . For example at 3am, 4am, and 5am, before winds pick up. Each cycle, water for 15 minutes for rotor heads, 8 minutes for stationary pop-ups, and 30 minutes for low volume MP Rotator heads. Water less in shaded or poorly drained areas.
- Do not water every day or two. Frequent, short watering encourages shallow roots, unhealthy grass, plants, and leaves turf susceptible to drought, weeds, and disease.
- Water newer trees using soaker hoses or direct hose drips once every couple of weeks.
What Does Over Watered Lawn Look Like
If your grass squishes a few hours after watering, that’s a sign. Dying patches of grass can also signal overwatering issues. Other symptoms include an abundance of weeds like crabgrass and nutsedge, thatch, and fungal growth like mushrooms. Runoff after irrigation is another sign, as well as yellowing grass.
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How Much Water Does Your Lawn Need
Most lawns typically need about 1 1 ½ inches of water per week. This will vary, as hotter weeks may require more water to make up for evaporation. On average, a sprinkler can distribute an inch of water per hour, but that will vary by the model of sprinkler. You also have to account for the size of your lawn and may require multiple sprinklers or an irrigation system to properly cover it.
How Long Does It Take To Put 1/2 Inch Of Water On The Lawn
Knowing how much water your sprinkler puts out helps you determine how long you must water your lawn to spread 1/2 inch of water. Every sprinkler design is different, so there’s no answer that works for every sprinkler — doing some simple measuring allows you to find out the specific length of time for your system.
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The Simplest Way To Regulate Lawn Watering
The chart below is a starting point for the number of minutes to water each sprinkler zone on the days you determine watering is needed. These times are averages. Adjust your watering minutes based on rainfall, type of grass or plants, sunny or shady locations and other characteristics.
Watering two days a week should be sufficient during most of the summer. If needed, water a third day during extreme heat or dry periods. Water trees and shrubs as needed, but not between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. Shrubs and perennials need half as much water as lawns.
There are no assigned watering days, but never water a zone more than three days a week.
|Watering||Minutes to water per zone|
Fixed spray heads
|Water trees and shrubs as needed.|
|Water trees and shrubs as needed.|
*These times are based on a sprinkler system running at an efficient level. Watering is not allowed between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m.
Proper Lawn Watering For A Greener Lawn In The Lehigh Valley Or Buxmont Pa
If you have more questions about watering your lawn, were here to lend an ear and help you answer those questions. At Joshua Tree, we view lawn care as a partnership between us and our clients. Were doing everything we can on our end to ensure your lawn is healthy and green but it also takes some help on your end, including proper watering.
We are always available to help make that process easier and ensure that you know what your lawn needs to thrive. Theres a lot of misinformation out there but were here to help you set the record straight.
If youd like to find out more about our three lawn care program options so that your lawn can receive the best possible care, contact us for a free consultation or give us a call at 610-365-2200 so that we can answer any questions.
Ready to get started?
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Is Watering Your Lawn A Waste Of Water
If youre a lawn-proud homeowner, you may never see watering your lawns as a waste of water. However, there will be times when its frowned upon to water your lawns when resources are scarce, or droughts are on the horizon.
Before you set up a lawn-watering schedule, check with your local council regarding water shortages. During the summer months, some councils impose water restrictions to ensure everyone has access to the water they need for daily living. As a result, the use of water irrigation systems and sprinkles are sometimes prohibited.
If you have a rain barrel and have harvested your own rainwater, you may be able to attach a hose and connect it to a drip/soaker hose or sprinkler to ensure your lawns dont suffer over the drier months of the year.
Watering Your Lawn: Dos And Donts
When youre in pursuit of a perfectly lush lawn, its easy to get disheartened by seasonal changes. Summer brings with it irregular rainfall, which increases the chances that youll end up with a dry or even dead lawn.
To combat that, many homeowners start getting into the habit of watering their lawns. But are they doing it right? Youre about to find out.
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Can You Over Water Grass
Yes, your grass can get too much water. If your grass gets too much water, it doesn’t get oxygen and can actually suffocate. Too much water also makes your grass more susceptible to disease. Watering Guidelines for New Lawns: New lawns need to be watered every day and sometimes more than once a day to keep soil moist.
What Are The Benefits Of Proper Lawn Watering
- Encourages deeper root growth, making grass more resilient against damage from pests, disease, and drought
- Supports a thick lawn that crowds weeds out by making it difficult for them to germinate
- Promotes efficient water use by reducing the amount of water lost through evaporation, and watering at times or in areas it is not needed
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How Much Water To Use
When watering an established lawn, its typically recommended to water until the top 6 to 8 inches of soil is wet. Most lawns need 1 to 1.5 inches of water per weekeither from rain or wateringto soak the soil that deeply. That amount of water can either be applied during a single watering or divided into two waterings during the week. Just be sure not to overwater your lawn.
Local & Seasonal Weather
Weather obviously plays a large role in how often to water your lawn. Whether it is hot and sunny, rainy, or cold will dictate the needs of your grass. Most lawns do best with about one inch of water per week, however this may be a bit different if you are in a particularly hot and dry climate or if youre experiencing a lot of rain already.
Grasses can also become dormant under certain conditions. Dormancy is when the grass basically falls asleep it is not dead grass despite the misconception due to its brown colour or a duller shade of green. In temperatures below 40 degrees or above 90 degrees Fahrenheit, grass can become dormant and stop growing. In these kinds of temperatures, it may not serve much purpose to water a lawn until it warms up or cools down.
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