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About 50% of our water is used outdoors, and the majority of this is used to water lawns.
Wise lawn watering will conserve a precious resource and will also reduce your monthly water bills.
How much water is used by turf grasses in the Sierra Vista, AZ area?
Cool Season Grasses use 30.75 gallons/ft2/year
Warm Season Grasses use 19.50 gallons/ft2/year
Overseeded grasses (warm and annual cool) use 29 gallons/ft2/year
Warm Season grasses actively grow from mid- April (when the soil temperature warms up) to mid- October, and go dormant in the winter. Spreading warm season grasses include bermuda garss and buffalo grass. Bunch warm season grasses include a Cochise County native - blue grama.
Cool Season grasses grow best during the cooler parts of the spring and fall. They may or may not go dormant during the winter cold. Generally cool season grasses are bunch grasses, meaning that they do not spread by runners. They include perennial ryegrass, annual ryegrass and tall fescue.
When should I water?
Watering in the early morning is the most effective time. Less water evaporates and fewer disease problems will occur.
How often should I water?
WATERING TOO MUCH = MORE MOWING!!
Water lawns once every three or four days. Even during the hot summer months, lawns do not need to be watered every day. Third-day watering promotes deeper root growth which makes your lawn more water efficient.
Look for signs of stress: Does your grass stay flat after you step on it? Are the blades surling? If so, then it is time to water.
How long should I water?
How long you should water depends upon two factors:
1. How quickly your sprinklers put water on your lawn (Sprinkler Output).
2. The amount of water your grass needs to stay healthy (Water Requirement).
1) Place 4-6 tuna or cat food cans at various locations on your lawn.
2) Turn the sprinkler on and time it for 15 minutes. Then turn it off.
3) Measure the depth of water in each can with a clear plastic ruler.
4) Figure the average depth in inches (add together all the water depths in the cans and divide by the number of cans).
1) Determine the Sprinkler Output (using the can test).
2) Use the Suggested Watering Schedule (below charts).
For example, if your sprinkler output is ¼ inch (in 15 minutes) and it is April, water for 22 minutes for warm season grass, 36 minutes for cool season grass and 22 minutes for overseeded grass.
Water again in 3-4 days.
NOTE: A properly adjusted underground sprinkler system is better than hand placed sprinklers. Underground systems deliver water more evenly and at a finer spray that can be absorbed by the turf.
Install a sprinkler control clock or faucet timer.
Suggested Watering Schedules for Cool and Warm Season Grasses in Cochise County, AZ
If water run-off occurs during watering, water using a "cycle-soak" method. Run the system until run- off begins. Stop and let the water soak in. Run the system again to complete the recommended watering time.
Other Tips For Improving Watering Efficiency
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