Driving through upstate New York a few years ago I noticed that everyone had lush green lawns—without a sprinkler in sight. In fact, along the roadside where we have sand, gravel or dirt, they had lush green lawn. Climate really does make a difference and we do live in a desert.
Lawns in Salt Lake County require about 2″ of rain or irrigation per week this time of year (more than that is just wasted water). In the cooler weather of early spring and fall they need a little less.
If your lawn is planted on loam and clay soils, it’s best that you water twice a week with one inch applied at each watering. Sandy and gravel soils, like where I live in Sandy, won’t hold an inch of water in one watering, they need to be watered a little more often (every other day works well with about 0.6″ applied each time).
How Can I Tell How Much Water My Lawn is Getting?
To measure how much water your sprinklers are putting down, any straight-sided container, placed at several locations on the lawn will work. As your system cycles through, measure the accumulated water in each container. You might need to adjust, relocate, or even add heads in order to apply the right amount of water. Sprinklers that use large drops are less subject to wind that those that use a fine mist.
When Is the Best Time to Water?
The best time to water is early in the morning. Watering in the evening or late at night is not a good time because the lawn remains wet overnight and is more susceptible to fungus, and makes snail and slugs harder to control. Never water during the heat of the day—most of that watering will just evaporate.
If you have questions about what type of soil you have or how to best keep your lawn irrigated and healthy, please stop by any of our Western Garden Centers and one of our helpful gardeners will be happy to make suggestions and offer advice.
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