1.  Don't water every day

Watering every day will result in a lawn with shallow root systems. Lawns do not need to be watered every day or even every other day.  Overwatering only wastes water. Watering too frequently discourages the grass from developing the deep root system it needs to take in the water available deeper in the soil in order to become less dependent on supplemental watering.


2.  Water early in the morning or late in evening

Not watering during the hottest part of the day will keep the moisture in the soil longer and help to lessen water lost due to evaporation.


3.  Don’t water when it's windy

A good way to waste water is to water when it's windy. Watering when it's windy only insures that you will be watering driveways and sidewalks as much as your lawn.


4.  Inspect the sprinkler system

Cycle through all sprinkler zones and look for broken heads and leaks. Loss of pressure could signal a leak in an irrigation line.


5.  Adjust sprinkler heads

 We have all seen sprinkler systems watering driveways, sidewalks, everywhere except the grass. Make sure all heads are aligned for proper coverage.


6.  Install a rain sensor on the sprinkler system

Nothing is more frustrating than to see irrigation systems running while it's raining. Rain sensors are a very inexpensive way to save water. Once installed, they will prevent the irrigation system from turning on when it's raining.


7.  Set the sprinkler clock for seasonal watering needs

The grass needs less water in spring and fall than in the heat of the summer. Adjust the length of watering times according to seasonal variations in temperature and climatic conditions. Setting the sprinkler clock just once in the spring will result in over watering in the cooler months and under watering in the hotter months.


8.  Only water the grass when it needs it

The grass will tell us when it needs water.  Look for signs of stress. If the grass is purplish or steel gray in color, it is dehydrated and needs water. If the grass is crunchy or leaves footprints when you walk across it, it needs water.


9.  Use low volume sprinkler heads

Low volume, water saving heads will allow water to soak in more slowly, reducing run off. They will also eliminate what is called "misting", or the tendency that some spray heads have to shoot water into the air in a fine mist where most of it evaporates before it can ever be used by the grass.


10.  Not all lawn areas need the same amount of water

Shady areas will need less water than sunny areas. Sloped areas need to be watered more often but with less time per watering to prevent runoff. South facing areas will dry out faster than North facing areas. It is important to vary watering times and amounts according to conditions in each area.


11.  Water deeply but infrequently

It is better to water less often but for longer periods of time to allow water to penetrate deeper into the soil.  This will promote deeper root growth. A lawn with a more extensive root system will need to be watered less often, being able to reach moisture that is available deeper in the soil.


12.  Aerate your lawn

If the underlying soil is unable to absorb and hold water, the grass will always struggle to survive without frequent watering.  Aeration will allow water to travel deeper into the soil and help to prevent runoff. Compacted ground is hard ground, not very porous and very difficult to keep wet. The solution is to loosen up the soil so it will hold water more efficiently. We can accomplish this through core aeration.


13.  Don't cut the grass to short

Mowing the grass too short will only result in the grass needing even more water to recover.  Set your mower to 2/12" to 3" high and only remove 1/3 of the blade each time you mow. Longer blades will help shade the soil and keep it from drying out too quickly. The grass will develop a deeper root system to support the longer blade and use less water as a result.


14.  Water any brown spots by hand

  It is better to water any brown spots by hand that may need additional water. Watering the  Entire lawn area just to water a few brown spots will only waste water.


 15.  Fertilize on a regular basis

A turf that is thinned out and in need of care will require additional water to recover. A dense, healthy turf will need less water to maintain.


Related Articles:
Five ways to save water with your automatic sprinkler system
How to water your lawn more efficiently
The grass will tell us when to water

How to water your lawn when faced with water restrictions


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