Lawn watering

Watering Digest

To do:

  • Calibrate sprinklers
  • Watch for dry spots
  • Water deeply and infrequently
  • Don’t waste water

Basic rules of watering

  • Moisten the root zone every time you water, usually with at least 1/2 inch of water.
  • Water deeply and infrequently, at least twice a week 1/2 inch at a time

Become a watering pro

To water accurately, you need to know how much water your sprinklers apply. To find out, all it takes is an hour and some empty cans. Place them around the yard to measure how much water gets collected from the sprinklers.

Hose Smarts

Tips for selecting a hose you’ll use

Look for hoses with four or five layers of reinforcing materials, or plies. Rubber hoses last longer but are heavy and expensive. Larger diameter hoses deliver more water faster. A 75-foot hose is convenient for larger yards but is heavier and more expensive than a shorter hose. A 50-foot 5/8 inch diameter hose is suitable for most home lawns.

The Screwdriver Test

Lawn watering theories, rules, or even timing make no difference if water doesn’t soak 6 to 8 inches into the soil. You might water long enough to apply several inches of water, but if it doesn’t soak in, it’s wasted. There is only one way to know for sure. That’s by testing. After watering, poke an 8-inch long screwdriver into your lawn. If it goes in easily at 6 inches, you’ve watered enough.

Q & A

Question: When is cycling (on-off-on-off) good for your lawn?

Answer: When your soil is heavy clay or when your lawn is on a slope. Cycling your sprinklers (on-off-on-off) three or more times ensures the water moves into the soil without runoff. A timer can do much of the work for you.

Rain Gauge

Lawns need at least 1 inch of water a week. To ensure they receive that amount, measure rainfall, then make up the difference with your sprinklers.

Follow The Footsteps

A sign your lawn wants water

If you see footprints in your lawn, ignore your watering schedule and the time of day and turn on the sprinklers. Visible footprints mean the grass is so dry it has lost its resiliency. The color of such weakened turf will be off too–silvery blue instead of green. Wait too long and the color will change again–to brown.

Lawn Watering During Drought

If the grass is still growing, mow higher to encourage roots to go deeper. Stretch time between irrigation to the maximum; water expediently efficiently, wasting no water to runoff, and water thoroughly. Don’t water just a little bit; that encourages weeds. During severe water shortages, let the lawn go brown. A healthy lawn of perennial grass, though completely brown, can survive months of no water and recover quickly once rains return.


Myth: The best sprinklers are the ones that deliver the water fastest.

Fact: True if your soil can absorb it, but most soil can’t. Sprinklers that water fast may be the most wasteful. If the soil can’t absorb the water, it runs off.

Advice: Match your sprinkler’s application rate to the soil’s absorption rate. Watering slowly, like a gentle rain , is usually best.

Myth: Brief, daily watering is more beneficial to lawns than deep watering several days apart.

Fact: False. Deep watering with a several-day gap in between creates deep roots for a healthy lawn.

Advice: Watch your lawn and wait for the first signs that i needs water (footprints remain in the lawn), then let the water run so that moisture reaches several inches into the soil.

Most importantly, don’t forget to call us for your lawn mowing service needs.