Irrigation Sprinklers and Grass Lawns
An irrigation sprinkler system is amazingly helpful for not only watering new lawns but established grass as well. When watering your lawn with a sprinkler system, it’s easy to calculate the amount of water needed and how long to run your sprinklers. First of all, 1 inch of water will penetrate:
- 12 inches in sandy soils
- 7 inches in loamy soils
- 4 to 5 inches in clay soils
Therefore, if you wanted to water your lawn 12 inches deep, you would apply 1 inch of water in sandy soil and 2 ½-inches in a clay soil.
Next, figure out how much water your sprinkler system produces. Place a series of coffee cans spaced evenly in a line running away from one or two of your sprinkler heads. Turn on the water and note how long until the cans fill to 1 inch. Now that you know this time measurement, you can multiply by the depth of penetration required. This will tell you exactly how long you should run your sprinkler system.
Depending on your location, it’s common to split your watering times by completing half the required amount in the early morning and the other half in the evening. Watering in this manner will enable your grass to utilize your water more efficiently. When watering in the mid-day, water is lost in the full sunlight through evaporation and transpiration. Keep in mind that during excessively hot, dry and windy days, especially during the middle of summer, your grass may need a rescue water application during the day. This will prevent from excessive drought-like conditions damaging your lawn.
Water infrequently, but water deeply. This method of watering encourages deep root growth, enabling your grass to reach more nutrients and moisture. Contact your local university cooperative extension office for precise water requirements based on your specific grass type and region.