Many people ask us how often and how long to water their lawns. The following guidelines should be helpful.
There are two primary types of sprinkler heads. It is important to recognize them and understand their differences.
Spray heads are smaller, pop-up and do not move or rotate. They are usually placed in smaller areas and spray a fixed pattern (i.e. half circle, etc.). Since they don't move, they water each square foot that they cover 100% of the time they are on.
Rotor Heads are larger, also pop-up and slowly rotate back and forth, throwing water a further distance and are usually used in larger areas. Due to the fact that they move back and forth slowly, they are not watering each square foot that they cover 100% of the time that they are on. They are good heads, but it is important to recognize that they need to run much longer than spray heads in order to put out as much water to each square foot of turf. Rotor heads need to run 2 to 3 times as long as spray heads!
So how long should they run?
Depending on the season:
Spray heads: 15 to 25 minutes
Rotor heads: 30 to 50 minutes
How often should I water my lawn?
April and May: 3 x per week
June, July & August: 5 to 6 x per week or daily in extreme heat.
September into early October: 3 x per week
Usually one run time per day is sufficient. There are of course many variables that come into play such as soil type, head placement, nozzle size (output), turf health and quality, etc.
Points to remember:
1) Run spray heads 15 to 25 minutes
Run rotor heads 30 to 50 minutes
2) The hotter and dryer it is, the more you need to water.
3) During hot dry weather, it only takes a lawn a few days to dry out and show stress, but it may take a few weeks to recover once proper watering resumes.
4) If you are watering properly but still have isolated dry areas, you should have the system inspected. This is
common. All sprinkler systems have imperfections and flaws that present themselves during the hot months.
Some issues can be easily corrected, some are the result of less than ideal original design of the system.
5) Turf grass is resilient! Even if the lawn gets dried out and turns brown, it will come back with proper
If your sprinkler timer is confusing and difficult to operate, we recommend switching to a RainBird SST 600i timer. Incredibly easy to understand and operate! Available at Home Depot and Lowe's for about $70.