With this north Texas watering guide, you will be able to better address the watering needs of your lawn and fix problems you may not even realize you are causing.
I find that most folks typically fit into two categories:
1) The first category and the minority is that they aren’t watering at all or very little for a few reasons. Some don’t know how to use or care to even touch the water controller. Some just left it on whatever someone else before them had it set on. Some had a damaged head by the lawn mowing guy and haven’t fixed it, turning it off and forgetting about it. Some just think it is really expensive to water but if done correctly it’s not as much as you might think.
2) The second category and the majority is they are overwatering. I find these folks are watering for one long period of time a couple or more times a week. Watering too much can cause several issues. One is that it creates a favorable environment for fungal diseases and certain weeds to thrive. In new sod, it can cause root rot. Another bad reason for watering like this is you teach your turf’s roots to not drive deep because they know they are getting water frequently and plenty. You want your roots to go deep!
Also, your soil can only take in so much water at a time so when you water like this I equate it to putting a sponge under a faucet. After a few seconds of soaking in as much as it can the water then just runs off wasted. You want deep soil moisture and deep root growth and you achieve that by infrequently watering for shorter periods of time each week. Low and slow like cooking a champion brisket! Low amounts of time are spread out over 3 cycles so water can slowly penetrate deep into the soil.
Watering Schedule Recommendation:
If your city has restrictions such as 2X/week then just drop a day using the higher end of the time range. My recommendation is 3X/week on the lower end of the time range if you are able to separate by 1 or 2 days. Don’t do the 3 days in a consecutive row.
For turf and flower bed fixed pop-up heads: At 12 am, 3 am, and 6 am each of the 3 days for 5-8 minutes.
For turf rotor heads: At 12 am, 3 am, and 6 am each of the 3 days for 8-10 minutes.
For flower bed drip zone irrigation: At 12 am, 3 am and 6 am each of the 3 days for 8-10 mins.
That’s it! If you have areas that hold water or your neighbor is watering too much and it overflows into yours you may decrease your time or in some rare cases just turn that zone off.
Irrigation Maintenance Tips:
Always double-check your time and date settings.
If your controller has a place to put a 9V or other size battery this will save your settings in case of an electrical outage. They are usually behind the pop-off portion of the controller panel.
Ensure your seasonal adjustment is at 100%. If drought arises you can increase this by 20% increments to ensure the turf doesn’t stress or dry out.
You should have your system checked a minimum of once a year preferably in the early spring. 2X a year is best! If done correctly this will ensure you have complete coverage that your lawn is watered, no damaged heads causing Old faithful geysers in your lawn and increasing that water bill, filter screens are clean and not clogged restricting water flow, heads are straight and low enough to not get hit by the lawnmower but high enough to ensure water goes where it needs to and all valves are communicating with the controller and opening and closing correctly.
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