Tips for Watering Your Yard

Properly watering your yard is crucial to keeping the entire landscape looking lush and healthy. Make sure to correctly care for your lawn and plants with good watering and irrigation techniques.

 

Most plants don’t require daily watering. In fact, daily watering can be detrimental to the health of a plant. Maintaining light to moderate moisture in the surrounding soil should typically be enough to keep your plants healthy. Be sure to water when the top few inches of soil are dry. In the fall, continue to water until the plants go into dormancy. However, continue to water evergreen trees until the ground freezes—even into November and December.

If you have a sprinkler system, you may be wondering how long you should run each irrigation zone for your landscape to give it the right amount of water. Because different types of sprinklers apply different amounts of water per hour, the type of sprinkler you have will determine how long it should run. When properly spaced, a fixed spray nozzle will apply between 1.75” to 2” of water in an hour. Stream rotators will apply between .4” to .65” per hour. This means that if a fixed spray nozzle runs for 30 minutes, it will water almost an inch of water, while a stream rotator running for the same 30 minutes will only water one quarter of an inch.

To get a good feel for how much water your own irrigation system applies per hour, try gathering several pie tins or other shallow containers. Place the containers around your lawn in the area of the zone you are testing, run the zone for one hour, and then measure the water that accumulated in each container. Using this information, you can determine how long each zone should run to get the recommended amount of water for your lawn.