Thursday, June 5, 2014

How Much Water Does Your Yard Need?

How much and often does your yard need water?   

To develop deep roots that will take advantage of water when it does rain here in our dry Hill Country, Texas area, water once per week. Depending on the type of grass, time of year, amount of shade, this may vary. Buffalo and Bermuda grass, which grow only in full sun will need one half inch per week. Depending on the weather, this can be reduced or eliminated in the cooler seasons. St. Augustine and Zoysia grass that are in full sun need three fourths of an inch in the summer, but in the shade they only need one half of an inch per week.

If brown or dry spots appear, use a hand held hose to water these areas to avoid soaking remaining grass, and wasting water.

Avoid sprinklers that throw water into the air allowing too much to evaporate. Choose a sprinkler that waters close to the ground to gain the most from the water you use.

Test areas to see how much water is actually being sprinkled. Use a shallow pan, such as a cake pan, or tuna can to collect water for twenty minutes. Sprinklers may distribute different amounts of water, so this will confirm you are gaining the most for the water used.

Drip irrigation and soaker hoses are best for newly planted trees, shrubs and flower gardens. Hook soaker hoses to another hose that is connected to the faucet to get the best use of the water. Turn the faucet only a quarter of a turn at first. Check the soaker hose to confirm the water is slow enough to sink into the ground, allowing it to reach the roots, and not running off. 

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