Setting Proper Run Times for Irrigation System Lawn Watering
Tampa home owners ask us often how long they should water their St. Augustine grass or Zoysia grass lawn?”
Pictured above: Rain gauge (left) and a Mower Measure (right).
Determine how long to run your irrigation zone by following these basic steps:
1) Place a rain gauge or a flat container (like a tuna can) in the zone you wish to test.
2) Run the irrigation zone for ½ hour.
3) Measure the amount of water that accumulated in the rain gauge or tuna can.
4) Adjust zone run time up or down in order to apply between ½ inch to ¾ inch of water.
Why apply 1/2 inch to 3/4 inch of water when I irrigate my lawn?
Applying ½ inch to ¾ inch of water will wet the soil profile to a depth of approximately 8 inches. That will wet the bulk of the root zone. Anything more will simply move water beyond the reach of the lawn's root system.
Irrigation Rules to Live By
If the grass is getting too much water change the number of times per week that it gets watered, but do not change the run times.
Make sure to check the precipitation rate for each zone individually as the precipitation rates may not be the same from one zone to another. Keep in mind that a rotor zone will put down about 1/3 of the water a spray head zone will, so your run times for rotor zones, generally speaking, is longer than that of a spray head zone. Its probably safe to assume that if you are running your rotor zones for 15 minutes you are barely putting down any water. Go ahead and check it with a rain gauge and write it down some where near the controller.
Sprayhead (left) and a rotor (right) apply water at different rates. Run times vary to put down the same amount of water between the two devices.
-- Green Solutions Lawn Care & Pest Control is an award-winning provider of lawn care and pest services in the Tampa Bay area. Our staff boasts two university educated turf agronomists and a university educated horticulturist. We offer fertilization, weed, insect and disease control programs for residential and commercial clients. We also offer general household pest control services. We have developed “GREEN” options for most of our services. We happily provide free estimates.
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