Basic Sprinkler Tips
Irrigation is a must for lawns, especially in our area where summers are often long, dry and scorching hot. There is a science behind calibrating an irrigation system, usually reserved for professionals and hardcore DIYers, that takes into account soil type, water pressure, lawn topography and more. For the rest of us, here are a few simple sprinkler tips that will help foster a beautiful lawn without wasting water.
Sprinklers are among the most used watering methods, and whether you have an in-ground system or you simply add a sprinkler attachment to a hose, it’s important to ensure all the grass gets a thorough soaking.
While watering, look to be certain the sprinklers are adjusted so the spray covers the whole lawn without wasting water on the street or a privacy fence. If you’re moving a sprinkler attachment around the yard, inspect carefully between moves to avoid dry spots.
Measure Sprinkler Output
Place several rain gauges or like-sized containers with straight sides, like tuna or cat-food cans, in random places around the yard. Water for 15 minutes, then turn off the sprinkler(s) and measure the water in each container with a ruler. If most containers collect a quarter inch but one gets almost nothing, check the sprinkler heads nearby for a possible malfunction. (If you can’t easily diagnose and fix the issue, it’s probably time to call a pro for help.)
Now figure the amount of time it would take to give your lawn a good half-inch soaking. For example, if you collected a quarter inch in 15 minutes, you would want to water for 30 minutes each time to get to the half-inch mark.
Measure the Rain
To achieve a lush, envy-worthy lawn without wasting water, you’ll need to keep an eye on rainfall. Set out and watch a rain gauge, emptying it each week. As a general rule, your grass needs an average of around an inch of water a week to stay healthy and green.
Rather than water an inch all at once, however, it’s better to give it a half of an inch at a time and let it dry thoroughly between waterings. Many experts recommend a half inch, from either rain or watering, every three or four days, preferably in the morning before the dew dries.