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According to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), 50% of water used outdoors is wasted.
EPA Water Sense Guidelines:
e.g. 1.5 inches every 10 days to get deeper penetration. See below.
To determine the most appropriate irrigation schedule for an established lawn consider the following: turf species; soil type; cutting height; potential disease and pest problems; local weather patterns; and microclimates (i.e., shade vs. full sun exposure; low vs. high areas of the yard). For example, a lawn cut at 3 inches holds water longer than a lawn cut at 2 inches; or lower areas of a lawn hold water longer than higher areas.
The rule of thumb for watering an established lawn is, "water as deeply and as infrequently as possible." Deep and infrequent irrigation stimulates root growth, resulting in healthy, drought tolerant, and pest resistant turf. While it's true that a deep, healthy root system produces vigorous turf, rooting depth is determined primarily by genetics and soil condition - not irrigation.
Aeration (punching small holes in the soil) can help water penetrate.
Source: Summer Lawn Watering Guide | Bayer
On very hot days turf may appear stressed even if the soil is wet. This is caused by heat stress and can be remedied by cooling off the turf by wetting it for 15 seconds or less. This technique is called syringing and is not the same as watering.
If you continue to see brown spots, check your sprinkler systems coverage for uniformity.
Cool-season grasses have shallow roots, and often require more frequent irrigations than warm-season grasses.
During periods of high rainfall, you can skip watering.
Time of Day:
Irrigating between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. also overlaps with the turf's natural dew period. Most diseases of turf occur when grass blades are wet for longer than 14 consecutive hours. Watering before 10 p.m. or after 6 a.m. extends the natural wetness period and increases disease problems.
The amount of water a plant actually needs
[sometimes known as the "EvapoTranspiration (ET) adjustment factor"]
can be summarized in this fashion:
baseline water needs (the ET0).
- Lawn Watering Guide for California | UC Cooperative Extension Service (UCCE)
- Lawns and Water Demand in California - Public Policy Institute of California
California Irrigation Management Information System (CIMIS) - [ Irrigation Scheduling ]
CIMIS - California Irrigation Management Information System - a network of over 120 automated weather stations. EPA - Environmental Protection Agency DWR - Deartment of Water Resources (Calif)ET - EvapoTranspiration ET0 - Baseline water needs or Reference EvapoTranspiration (inches/month) - The loss of water to the atmosphere by the combined processes of evaporation (from soil and plant surfaces) and transpiration (from plant tissues). See Water Budget Data Finder IWMI - International Water Management Institute LWA - Landscape water allowance (gallons/month) LWR - landscape water requirement - The amount of supplemental water required by the design of the established landscape. OWUE - Office of Water Use Efficiency (Calif.)Links:
Lawns and Water Demand in California - Public Policy Institute of California
Summer Lawn Watering Guide | Bayer
Watering Established Lawns | ext.colostate.edu
WaterSense Single-Family New Home Specification: Water Budget Tool .XLS | EPA
Lawn Care here
Water usage in the U.S.