WHEN TO WATER
It is essential to begin watering new turfgrass sod within a half hour after it is installed or placed on the soil. Apply at least 1 in of water so that the soil beneath the turf is very wet. Ideally, soil 6 inches belowthe surface will be moist.
Water as early in the morning as possible to take advantage of the grass’s normal growing cycle. Morning is ideal because of lower wind speeds and less water is lost to evaporation. Watering in the evening is discouraged because water remaining on the grass can promote disease and fungus.
Infrequent and deep watering is preferred to frequent and shallow watering. Roots will only grow as deep as their most frequent available water supply. Deeply rooted grass has a larger “soil-water bank” to draw moisture from and this helps the grass survive drought conditions and hot weather that dries out the upper soil layer.
Water is essential to all life… too little water and we die, too much water and we drown. The same is true of the grass in our lawns. Water makes up 70% to 80% of the weight of grasses and the clippings alone are nearly 90% water. While most people are concerned about not watering their lawns enough, the fact is, more lawns are damaged by overwatering.
HOW TO WATER
Proper watering techniques are important. Here are several helpful suggestions.
Avoid hand watering because it cannot provide uniformity. The only possible exception to this guideline would be the need to water the surface of the grass to cool it, or to provide additional water near building or other heat-reflecting surfaces.
Understand each sprinkler has its advantages and disadvantages. Proper use is determined by the type of sprinkle you select.
IN-GROUND SYSTEMS require professional installation, routine adjustments and proper maintenance to be effective. The greatest mistake made in most in-ground systems is the “set it and forget it” philosophy that fails to account for changing seasonal water requirements to maximize turf growth or allows the system to operate following adequate rain. Another frequent problem is when sprinkler heads get out of alignment and apply water to the sidewalk, street, or house siding, rather than to the lawn.
Watering difficult areas such as slopes and under trees requires special attention to achieve maximum coverage and uniformity.
The amount of water your lawn requires and receives will determine its overall health, beauty and its ability to withstand use and drought. Keep in mind that too much water can ruin a lawn just as fast as too little water.
One inch a week is a watering “rule of thumb” (by rain or watering) suggested for most lawns; however, this will vary between different turf species and even among cultivars within a specie, seasonal changes and different soil types.