How Long Should You Run Your Irrigation System?

Knowing how long it takes to water/irrigate your lawn can play a significant role in the beauty and presentation of your yard. Your yard can only accentuate the beauty of your home, so how long should you be running your irrigation system?  

Knowing how long to keep your water running is more challenging than throwing your sprinkler on for an hour whenever you want. Underwatering can lead to dry, patchy, and non-vibrant grass. While overwatering can lead to too much moisture causing rot and disease to spread throughout your lawn. 

The three main things we need to know to figure out how long you should be running your irrigation system are the season, what type of sprinkler/irrigation system you are using, and the type of grass you’re watering.

Why does the season matter?

Watering your grass in the winter versus watering in the summer can alter your watering habits. During the summer, you want to water your lawn a lot, but make sure not to overwater your lawn as that can cause as much damage as not watering enough. 

Irrigation/sprinkler type

Different irrigation types can offer different watering styles. Examples are your rotor head sprinkler, spray head, oscillating sprinklers, and many more. Various systems can be on for longer or shorter periods, as some deliver more water in a shorter duration than others. Furthermore, some sprinklers can be more forceful with the water, which could disrupt the growth of newly seeded grass. 

A good rule of thumb is that your system delivers 1 inch to 1.5 inches of water. You can use the can test or a flow timer to figure this out. The can test is where you put a can in your lawn where your sprinkler is watering and see how long the can takes to get to one inch of water. This is an excellent way to see how long you should water your lawn. 

Watering Cool season vs. Warm season grass 

Cool-season grasses grow more actively in the fall and need 1-1.5 inches of water per week until the first frost. Some of these grasses are fescue, Kentucky bluegrass, and ryegrass. These grasses are typically grown in the northern portion of the United States.

On the other hand, we have warm-season grass, which consists of Bermuda, St. Augustine, and many others. Warm-season grass can be found in the transition zone or the southern part of the United States, as they thrive in warmer weather and actively grow during the summer. The grass can become brown and dormant over the winter but becomes active as spring and warm weather approach. Warm-season grasses require less water, except in extreme heat or drought. 

To conclude, will the grass be greener on the other side?

Knowing how much or how long to irrigate your lawn can be tricky, especially if you’re not sure what kind of grass you have. It’s best to do your research or reach out to experts. Watermasters can help you select the best irrigation system for your lawn to help it look its best! We can tell you that depending on the season, your grass species/type, and your irrigation system, it may differ from how long your neighbor may irrigate their grass, but we can ensure it’s looking its best. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked*