To Water? or Not to Water?

Spring in Nebraska usually means the weather changes every day.  Today we might have a monsoon, and tomorrow it will be sunny with the temperature in the triple digits. This variance can play havoc with your lawn. 
It is important to keep your lawn watered consistently, but how much is too much?  Under normal conditions we suggest watering 3 times a week and you want to water for a long enough period of time to water deeply,so you encourage the  roots to go deep. If you water every day for only 10 minutes, the roots won’t grow deep and when the heat of the summer really hits, you’ll have an even harder time keeping your lawn green because of the shallow roots.
So how much time should you water on each zone? Rotor heads, which are the ones that turn back and forth, require the most watering time. If you have rotor zones set at 30 minutes, then the spray zones should be set at 15 minutes so that both areas are receiving the same amount of water.  This will provide about a 1/3 inch of water per run time. An inch of water a week can be adequate, if we are also getting some rain from Mother Nature. And if we get more rain than that, like we have recently, you could water even less. However, as the seasonal hot conditions become more frequent and we see less and less rain, you may want to bump up your watering schedule up to 6 times a week to provide 2 inches of rain. 
In the hot windy conditions, like in the heat of the summer,  a yard can be dry just a few days after a 1 inch rain.  In addition to variances in the weather, your watering schedule depends on plant type (type of grass or landscaping), if your yard is in the sun or shade, and even the slope of your yard. And one more important point:  You should be watering in the early morning, usually between 3:00 and 10:00 to make sure as much of the water as possible actually gets to the grass.  There is less evaporation due to wind and heat in the early morning hours. Also consider that you want as much water volume as possible, so don’t schedule your sprinklers to water when it will interfere with showers, laundry or other household activities that use a lot of water.
To take the guesswork out of watering your lawn, consider adding an On-site Water sensor to your sprinkler system. With this sensor installed you can save up to 50% of your outdoor water bill. It waters based on actual weather readings from your property. When installed, we input, among other items, the type of sprinklers in each zone, plant types, soil type and degree of slope in your yard.  Based on all this information, each zone turns on only when weather conditions warrant it. So you can rest easy, knowing your sprinkler system isn’t watering in the middle of a thunderstorm.
If you have questions about your particular yard or need help with getting adequate water coverage on your lawn, give us a call. We’re here to help!

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