Frequency of Watering
Frequency of watering will be affected by grass species, soil texture, climate, exposure, and amount of use the lawn area receives. Ideally, the grass plants should dictate the watering program. Slight wilting, a color change to a more grayish or bluish-green shade, or footprinting (when plants will not rebound after walking on them) are indications that irrigation is necessary.
Figure 9.5. Water when plants show slight wilting, a color change or footprinting.
It is desirable to keep the interval between watering as long as possible without allowing the plants to go into severe water stress. Thorough, infrequent watering causes plants to develop deep, strong root systems which can extract water from a much larger volume of soil. Mowing 2.5 – 3.0 inches throughout the growing season will also help promote deeper rooting even though seasonal rooting depths will vary. The shallow rooting associated with light, frequent irrigation that constantly keeps the upper soil levels nearly saturated with water is never a good practice.
It is not unusual for some areas of the lawn to dry faster than others. This is common on southern exposures, sunny areas, borders of sidewalks, and slopes. Hand watering these areas may save water by extending the intervals between watering the entire lawn.
Proceed to Timing of Water Applications