In Arizona, the summers are scorchers. If you have a sod lawn in Arizona, your grass will need a little more water during the summer, but the reward of a fresh green lawn to enjoy all season long is well worth it.
Here are some watering tips to get you through the summer season while still conserving your ever-important water source:
Know How Much Water Your Lawn Needs. In order to ensure the healthiest lawn, water needs to reach the roots of your grass each time you’re watering. Applying about 3/4″ of water during each session should allow you to penetrate about 10″ of ground, which is an optimal depth.
To test the depth of your watering efforts, wait about an hour after watering, then grab a soil probe or long screwdriver. If you’ve watered properly, you should be able to easily push your testing tool to a depth of 10″. If you’re probe doesn’t go that far, you should water longer until you’ve reached deep enough into the soil.
Know How Much Water Your Sprinkler System Applies. You’ll want to know how much water your sprinkler system is applying to your lawn to be able to properly account for the amount of time your sprinklers need to be turned on. To test this, take several flat-bottomed cans (pet food cans or tuna cans work great for this exercise), place them sporadically around your lawn, and run your sprinklers for fifteen minutes. When the time is up, measure the amount of water in each can.
Calculate a ratio using the amount of water that’s accumulated as a decimal of an inch (1/4″ = .25, for example). Add the amount of water from each can, then divide the total amount of water accumulated by the total number of cans. This will give you the average watering depth for a fifteen minute time frame. Generally speaking, you could expect a pop-up sprinkler to deliver about 4/10″ of water during this time frame, and impact sprinklers usually apply about half this amount of water.
If you’re seeing variations in depth from one can to the next greater than 1/4″, you should investigate your sprinkler, as you may have issues causing inconsistent watering, such as clogged sprinkler heads.
Since .75″ (or 3/4″) is necessary for a healthy lawn, perform the following calculation:
(.75 / the average watering depth) x 15 minutes = optimal amount of time to water
Consider these Cautions.
- Different times of year require varying watering frequencies. Adjust your watering intervals to account for optimal frequency here in Arizona.
- Time of day is important. Avoid watering during the hottest part of the day, as the water will likely evaporate before it reaches its full potential. Instead, shoot for the evening or early morning hours so your sod can absorb the water and give it to the grass roots.
- A mushy ground is indicative of too much watering. Cut back if you’re experiencing soggy soil which could ultimately produce unwanted fungus or mushrooms.
- Don’t water when it’s windy.
- Periodically test your run time, and make adjustments based on changes in the climate.
- Pay attention to your sprinkler heads, and maintenance any clogs or misguided directions.
- Mow your lawn regularly in accordance with the type of grass you’ve chosen to keep it at its healthiest.
Before the summer sun really gets going, check out these 5 Lawn Care Tips for Spring so your grass can be properly prepped and ready to go!