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Old 08-13-2012, 01:23 AM   #1
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How often/long do I water grass/plants

I live in southern calif and I have 2 stations with 6 pop up sprinklers each to water grass. How many times a week and how long do i water?


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Old 08-13-2012, 09:58 AM   #2
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It's best to water deeply, as infrequently as possible. It's had to be more specific since every lawn is different based on your climate, your weather, and local variables such as shade and how short you mow it (longer grass needs less water in my experience). For example, in summer I water 1 to 2 times per week, half an hour to 1 hour depending on how sunny/hot it is. In the spring I don't water at all because it rains a lot. And in the fall, I water very little because the weather is cooler and the grass stays green without much effort on my part.

What I would do is water for an hour per set, then withhold water until you see signs of stress (turning brown etc). Then note however long that took, and water slightly more frequently than that.


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Old 08-13-2012, 03:38 PM   #3
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I would say about twice a day for 15 minutes.
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Old 08-13-2012, 09:24 PM   #4
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Depends on a lot of things... how hot and dry it is, how well your soil retains water... type of grass. Rule of thumb is to water deep but infrequently. Twice a week. Water early in the morning. If you water every day, or if you water in the late afternoon (because your lawn will often already be wet in the morning from dew), your lawn will be constantly wet, and you will be at high risk of developing a fungus like rust.
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Old 08-14-2012, 07:07 AM   #5
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In turfgrass management, the goal was to apply the equivalent of 1" rainfall per 1,000sf per week. If budgets permitted. As mentioned, aim to water more deeply and less frequently as it will strengthen root systems and improve drought resistance. Sometimes if you have clay soil you cannot though or you just plug up all the air space in the soil.

Think of converting everything but turf to drip irrigation. It is better for plants and makes environmental sense. You put water only where you want it and in gallons per hour rather than in gallons per minute with conventional sprinklers. It is also cheaper to install and to operate.

You all in California are in for a water battle soon you know! When I last lived in N California we supplied you in S California with water but had to live with rationing ourselves. You did not. That is not going to happen this next go around. Droughts and water rationing are here to stay and the more you can do to adapt the better.

In my state, even without droughts, we are running out of fresh water. The aquafores are just not filling fast enough to keep up with growth and development.
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Old 08-22-2012, 06:50 PM   #6
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Pawl, I found this site called The Watering Index and Watering Calculator its specifically for Southern California.
No need for us to go into detail about type of grass and soil, climate or any of that, you just plug it into calculator. I don't even need to tell you how to use tuna fish cans to figure your inches per hour output, they gotta a blue link there if you don't know your gallons per hour.
Morning is best time, but if you can't or the lawn looks desperate water at evening. Timers are nice. Just don't water mid-day when evaporation is high. here in North Texas we can only water twice a week, and not between 10 AM and 6PM.
kolsen's " twice a day for 15 minutes." is the worst possible way. That encourages weeds & makes the grass roots stay up high where they dry out faster. You want the water to go deep 6 to 12" depending on grass, and you want the roots to go down there, make those roots work for the H20, That's why you let grass get dry B4 watering. then if you can you water slow low inch/hour so the water soaks in with minimum run off. I dunno if the calculator has this hint about what to do if water starts to run off B4 the time is up because of hard, dry, or compacted soil, in fact this is a good way to water anyway. Pay attention and just water till the run off starts then turn it off and wait about as long as it took to run off, then finish your watering. Then set your timer to do that for you. Soil is like those cellulose kitchen sponges that get all hard when they dry out. They won't soak up any water when hard, but dunk it in water, so it gets soft, squeeze it out and then they soak it right up.


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