Like any tool used to maintain your house and yard, you need to know how to use a lawn sprinkler system for it to be fully effective.
It may seem simple enough: Water your lawn when it needs it. For the best results, though, you need weigh factors such as temperature, time of day and soil quality to determine how much water your lawn really needs.
The art of lawn care
Watering your lawn is more of an art than a science. There’s no precise formula for how much or how often you should water it. As a rule of thumb, a healthy lawn needs about one and a half inches of water per week, depending on the soil type. In most places, this translates to watering twice a week.
For a more precise measurement, you should aim to saturate the top three to four inches of soil. You can measure this by pushing a screwdriver into the lawn until you feel resistance. If you have dry, sandy soil, you’ll have to water it more often than clay soil, which is better at retaining water. Less water, however, is needed to adequately saturate sandy soil.
Time of day and other environmental factors
During the warmer months, it’s a good idea to water your lawn at night so the sun doesn’t evaporate the water before it penetrates to the roots.
Programmable sprinklers are a convenient option. So convenient, in fact, that many people forget about them and let them run through their cycle regardless of the rainfall. This is especially wasteful in areas like the Southwest. Furthermore, too much watering can lead to fungal lawn disease and wilting grass. If you have a programmable sprinkler system, be sure to adjust it for rainfall.
Still not sold on the idea of a lawn sprinkler system? In the final post, learn about some alternatives to lawn sprinkler systems.