Watering Your Lawn
Most people think that in order to get a luscious lawn of pure green with no dead brown spots that they need to water their lawn every day for hours on end. However, this big misconception can actually drive up your water bill without your lawn looking any greener or fuller.
Instead of drowning your lawn, you should actually water it just enough that the water and nutrients seep through the soil to the roots and no more. This amount of water differs between grass types and which kind of soil you have in your yard. A rough approximation for all yards and soil types is 1 inch of water = 6-10 inches down into the soil.
If your sprinkler unit is a few years old, you may be wasting gallons of water per hour simply because of the new advancements the California irrigation system has made. If you find yourself returning to that same old sprinkler, call our office to discuss options for renewing your system to minimize consumption and maximize excellence.
Regardless of your sprinkler system’s age, you can determine its output in a few easy steps.
- The easiest way to measure your sprinkler, if you have a rain gauge to do so, is to get a shallow tuna can and empty it out. Place it in an open area in your lawn and let your sprinkler run for 15 uninterrupted minutes. Once that is done, grab a ruler and measure how deep the water is in the can.
- Your goal is to water your lawn one inch; based off the depth of the can, or rain gauge, and the time it took to get to that depth, water your lawn appropriately. For example, if the can had 1/2” of water after 15 minutes, you only need to water your lawn for 30 minutes per area that your sprinkler reaches.
- Once you’ve determined how much time it takes to reach one inch, use a long tool, such as a screwdriver, and plunge it into the ground and see if it reaches roughly 6-10 inches — if it does, good news, you know how long to run it. If the water pools and/or you cannot drive the tool down into the ground 6-10 inches, you need to upgrade your watering strategy. Try splitting it into evenly timed sessions instead of one long one and be sure to give time between to let the water reach the roots.
You may only need to water your lawn about once a week, assuming you water it properly and at the right times. Mornings are best to avoid losing water to evaporation and make sure that there aren’t any pools/puddles on your lawn from your sprinklers. If the grass isn’t sparingly when you step on it, it’s time to water.
If you have any additional questions, contact us and we’d be happy to go over the calculations and offer insight into how to make your California water system more efficient.