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St George Landscaping, Masonry and Excavation

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Watering Your Lawn

Daily Watering and Yearly Treatment Table

Below is a table showing the appropriate watering time for your lawn by month as well as treatments you should be applying throughout the year. This is a general description. When we install your lawn and sprinkler system, we will program your system for your lawn needs for the first two weeks. At the start of week three, refer to the watering schedule below. Certain factors will arise with individual lawns that require adjustments to this schedule and they are listed below.
Ave. Temp Ave. High Trim Bushes Fertilize Lawn Water per Week Water Grass per Day Water Trees and Bush Ideal Water Times Range Other Treatments
Jan 41 54 1 0min 10min 9 am;11am
Feb 47 60 23-3-8 1 5min 30min 9 am;11am
Mar 54 67 2 5min 30min 9 am;11am Aerate
April 61 76 X 25-5-10 2 5min 30min 4:30 am;7:30am Grub Control
May 70 86 2 8min 45min 4:30 am;7:30am
June 78 96 25-5-10 3 8min 10min 4:30 am;7:30am Spurge,crabgrass
July 78 102 4 8min 45min 4:30 am;7:30am Fungicide,grub control
Aug 84 98 X 16-6-8 4 8min 45min 4:30 am;7:30am
Sept 75 92 3 8min 45min 4:30 am;7:30am
Oct 64 80 22-2-12 2 5min 30min 9 am;11am Re-seed
Nov 50 64 1 0min 10min 9 am;11am
Dec 41 54 1 0min 10min 9 am;11am

Here in St George, Utah we have compacted and alkaline soil. This presents unique challenges to water. With compacted soil, the water has a hard time fully penetrating the grass’ root system, leaving the water to run off or evaporate. Because of this, we recommend watering be done in short cycles. This will prevent water waste and allow your lawn to receive a full allotment of water.

To read more about the lawn treatments specified in this schedule, see the “Fertilizing Your Lawn” section.

Certain Factors May Affect Your Watering Schedule

There are 4 main factors that will affect the watering time for your lawn. A sloping lawn should be watered differently than a flat lawn. A lawn with more sun exposure will require more water than a lawn in the shade. Another thing to consider is your shaded lawn: is the shade due to a building structure or trees? See the table below for possible adjustments to your watering schedule.

Adjusting Your Watering Schedule To Meet Your Lawn’s Needs

Full Sun Exposure Shaded By Buildings Shaded By Tree
Sloping Lawn Maintain the general times for watering as listed in the table but switch to shorter intervals throughout the day. While you will still need to split your watering time into 4 intervals, you can take two days a week off watering your lawn as the shade will help it retain moisture. Maintain the general times for watering as listed in the table. Your lawn will require more water to account for root absorption from the trees. Account for the slope by splitting watering time into 4 shorter intervals
Flat Lawn For lawns in the direct sun, they will need ½ inch more water added to their watering day schedule, as opposed to shaded lawns. With Rainbird sprinklers, you will get between a ⅓ -½ inch of water in 5 minutes. As for mostly shaded lawns, they will require less frequent watering if the shade is caused by buildings. Overwatering in a shaded area encourages the growth of fungus. Tree roots will absorb the bulk of your lawn's water, leaving little for the grass around its base. You will need to water approximately 5 minutes longer during each watering cycle. This will give you ⅓ - ½ inch more water.

For more calculations tailored to your specific landscape needs, try using the calculator Rain Bird has created so you can accurately adjust your sprinklers.

Common Lawn Watering Mistakes

Some of the common mistakes people make when caring for their lawn can be easily avoided. Below are mistakes we see most often.

Overwatering/Underwatering

Many people over water their lawn or are too cautious with watering. To check if you are overwatering or underwatering your lawn, take a rod (a screwdriver is perfect for this) and push it into the lawn 2 hours after watering. A well-watered lawn will allow the rod to smoothly slide into the soil. Pulling it back out will be easy. You should see a little damp soil remaining on the rod once removed.

Your Lawn Is Too Dry If:

you’re struggling to push the rod into the soil. To correct this, start by adding ½ inch of water (or 5 minutes) to your schedule and test again after a week.

Your Lawn Is Being Overwatered If:

the screwdriver goes into the lawn and comes out muddy. To correct this problem, subtract ½ inch from your watering time and test again after a week on the new schedule

Day watering

St George is an arid desert climate. We lose a lot of water due to evaporation, especially mid-day. During the hottest months of the year, it is best to water early in the morning. You should not be watering after 8 am or when the temperature rises above 90 degrees. If you are watering in the evening, the latest we recommend a watering cycle is one hour before sunset, so the lawn will still have a chance to dry out and cool down -to avoid fungus growth.

Not repairing broken sprinklers

Sprinklers will wear out over time. Also, accidents happen and sprinklers can become damaged or at least knocked askew. If you don’t repair your damaged sprinkler:

  • You may have sections of your lawn die from lack of adequate water
  • Water pooling followed by a fungal infestation
  • Areas of your home can flood
  • A much higher water bill as damaged sprinklers pump water out into the street.

Assuming the lawn is dry

Sometimes a lawn owner will see a browning patch on the lawn and assume it is parched and needs more water. However, grass that has been killed by fungus looks similar to dry grass. If the brown patch is circular, check the area by tugging on the grass. If the problem is due to underwatering, a gentle tug should not uproot the grass. But if the brown patch pulls up easily from the root, this is a sign that fungus is killing the lawn. To treat a fungal infection, see our section on “Common Potential Lawn Problems”.

Watering Your Lawn

Daily Watering and Yearly Treatment Table

Below is a table showing the appropriate watering time for your lawn by month as well as treatments you should be applying throughout the year. This is a general description. When we install your lawn and sprinkler system, we will program your system for your lawn needs for the first two weeks. At the start of week three, refer to the watering schedule below. Certain factors will arise with individual lawns that require adjustments to this schedule and they are listed below.

Ave. Temp Ave. High Trim Bushes Fertilize Lawn Water per Week Water Grass per Day Water Trees and Bush Ideal Water Times Range Other Treatments
Jan 41 54 1 0min 10min 9 am;11am
Feb 47 60 23-3-8 1 5min 30min 9 am;11am
Mar 54 67 2 5min 30min 9 am;11am Aerate
April 61 76 X 25-5-10 2 5min 30min 4:30 am;7:30am Grub Control
May 70 86 2 8min 45min 4:30 am;7:30am
June 78 96 25-5-10 3 8min 10min 4:30 am;7:30am Spurge,crabgrass
July 78 102 4 8min 45min 4:30 am;7:30am Fungicide,grub control
Aug 84 98 X 16-6-8 4 8min 45min 4:30 am;7:30am
Sept 75 92 3 8min 45min 4:30 am;7:30am
Oct 64 80 22-2-12 2 5min 30min 9 am;11am Re-seed
Nov 50 64 1 0min 10min 9 am;11am
Dec 41 54 1 0min 10min 9 am;11am

Here in St George, Utah we have compacted and alkaline soil. This presents unique challenges to water. With compacted soil, the water has a hard time fully penetrating the grass’ root system, leaving the water to run off or evaporate. Because of this, we recommend watering be done in short cycles. This will prevent water waste and allow your lawn to receive a full allotment of water.

To read more about the lawn treatments specified in this schedule, see the “Fertilizing Your Lawn” section.

Certain Factors May Affect Your Watering Schedule

There are 4 main factors that will affect the watering time for your lawn. A sloping lawn should be watered differently than a flat lawn. A lawn with more sun exposure will require more water than a lawn in the shade. Another thing to consider is your shaded lawn: is the shade due to a building structure or trees? See the table below for possible adjustments to your watering schedule.

Adjusting Your Watering Schedule To Meet Your Lawn’s Needs

Full Sun Exposure Shaded By Buildings Shaded By Tree
Sloping Lawn Maintain the general times for watering as listed in the table but switch to shorter intervals throughout the day. While you will still need to split your watering time into 4 intervals, you can take two days a week off watering your lawn as the shade will help it retain moisture. Maintain the general times for watering as listed in the table. Your lawn will require more water to account for root absorption from the trees. Account for the slope by splitting watering time into 4 shorter intervals
Flat Lawn For lawns in the direct sun, they will need ½ inch more water added to their watering day schedule, as opposed to shaded lawns. With Rainbird sprinklers, you will get between a ⅓ -½ inch of water in 5 minutes. As for mostly shaded lawns, they will require less frequent watering if the shade is caused by buildings. Overwatering in a shaded area encourages the growth of fungus. Tree roots will absorb the bulk of your lawn’s water, leaving little for the grass around its base. You will need to water approximately 5 minutes longer during each watering cycle. This will give you ⅓ – ½ inch more water.

For more calculations tailored to your specific landscape needs, try using the calculator Rain Bird has created so you can accurately adjust your sprinklers.

Common Lawn Watering Mistakes

Some of the common mistakes people make when caring for their lawn can be easily avoided. Below are mistakes we see most often.

Overwatering/Underwatering

Many people over water their lawn or are too cautious with watering. To check if you are overwatering or underwatering your lawn, take a rod (a screwdriver is perfect for this) and push it into the lawn 2 hours after watering. A well-watered lawn will allow the rod to smoothly slide into the soil. Pulling it back out will be easy. You should see a little damp soil remaining on the rod once removed.

Your Lawn Is Too Dry If:

you’re struggling to push the rod into the soil. To correct this, start by adding ½ inch of water (or 5 minutes) to your schedule and test again after a week.

Your Lawn Is Being Overwatered If:

the screwdriver goes into the lawn and comes out muddy. To correct this problem, subtract ½ inch from your watering time and test again after a week on the new schedule

Day watering

St George is an arid desert climate. We lose a lot of water due to evaporation, especially mid-day. During the hottest months of the year, it is best to water early in the morning. You should not be watering after 8 am or when the temperature rises above 90 degrees. If you are watering in the evening, the latest we recommend a watering cycle is one hour before sunset, so the lawn will still have a chance to dry out and cool down -to avoid fungus growth.

Not repairing broken sprinklers

Sprinklers will wear out over time. Also, accidents happen and sprinklers can become damaged or at least knocked askew. If you don’t repair your damaged sprinkler:

  • You may have sections of your lawn die from lack of adequate water
  • Water pooling followed by a fungal infestation
  • Areas of your home can flood
  • A much higher water bill as damaged sprinklers pump water out into the street.

Assuming the lawn is dry

Sometimes a lawn owner will see a browning patch on the lawn and assume it is parched and needs more water. However, grass that has been killed by fungus looks similar to dry grass.
If the brown patch is circular, check the area by tugging on the grass. If the problem is due to underwatering, a gentle tug should not uproot the grass. But if the brown patch pulls up easily from the root, this is a sign that fungus is killing the lawn. To treat a fungal infection, see our section on “Common Potential Lawn Problems”.