Watering the Lawn – How Much & How Often?

Use ET web site to determine how much water your plants actually need.

A frequent question I get is, “How long and how often should I water my lawn?” The answer, as you might guess, is, “It depends.”

It depends on whether you are just trying to keep the grass alive, or have a goal of a golf course quality lawn. It depends on what kind of soil you have – sandy, clay, rocky, etc. It depends on the weather – hot and dry obviously means more water, more often. And, it depends on your irrigation system. You might be a hose dragger using hose-end sprinklers, all of which vary in output patterns and efficiency, or, you may have an aging in-ground system, or a new, state-of-the-art system.

How to sort all that out? A recent news release from Texas AgriLife Extension features the TexasET web site that helps you calculate how much water you need based on 1) your goals, 2) what you are watering, 3) current weather conditions (that are determined for you by the closest weather station to your site), and 4) a little bit of data that you need to input into the calculator.

What does it need from you? You need to measure how much water your irrigation heads are putting out. Using catch cans to collect the water, you turn on the system for a defined amount of time, find the average amount of water collected, and then figure out how much would be put out if you ran the system for an hour.

For more details, read the news release, and then go to the TexasET web site. For my readers in East Texas, use the Overton weather station (click on the shaded county in East Texas).

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