As we begin to experience the cooler temperatures of the winter months, your lawn will begin to grow much more slowly and require less water. This time of year is a great time to cut back on your water use and train your yard to need less water by only irrigating when your lawn begins to show signs of stress.
There are important guidelines to remember regarding when and how to irrigate. Following the guidelines will encourage deeper root growth and help develop a more drought tolerant and healthy lawn and landscape.
Don't irrigate just because it is your scheduled day. Irrigation systems should only be operated when the lawn begins to show signs of stress. This will encourage deeper root growth, which will help to develop more drought tolerant lawns and landscaping. It will also save water, which protects our water resources and provides savings on water bills. Signs of stress, include:
- lingering footprints or mower tracks
- grass blades or leaf blades beginning to close lengthwise
- the top few inches of soil feeling dry
The amount of irrigation varies depending on the time of year, rainfall and soil conditions. Please refer to the WaterWise Irrigation Guide below for guidelines to follow.
Evaporation loss can be 60 percent or higher during the day, so watering must be done before 10am or after 4pm on your scheduled day.
Lawns will generally need water before landscape plants (excluding flowers). Therefore if the lawn is being irrigated when it shows signs of stress, the landscape plants will be adequately irrigated.
Flower beds should be hand watered with a hose using an automatic shut off nozzle. Also, if the lawn has dry spots, use a hose with an automatic shutoff nozzle to apply water where it's needed, instead of watering the entire lawn.