When should I water my lawn?

Water in the early morning (before sunrise) when water pressure is greatest, evaporation is minimal and the lawn drinks in the most water. Do not water in the evening because water will sit on the lawn and may cause disease. Do not water in the heat of the day because the sun will evaporate water before it can soak in. To water your lawn efficiently, you need to provide the right amount of water, evenly distributed, in the right places and at the right time. 

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How often should I water my lawn?

There are three things to consider: the weather, the type of soil and the depth of roots.

Weather is the most obvious factor. When it's hotter you'll need to water more frequently. In the summer you'll probably need to water every other day, if not every day (depending, of course, on where you live).

The type of soil affects how much water is available for the grass to use. Heavy (clay) soils hold the most water, meaning you'll probably water less frequently. Sandy soils do not hold water well, so you'll water them more often. Deeper roots mean there is more available water for the grass and, therefore, you'll need to water less frequently. Think of the soil as a sponge that holds water for the grass. The deeper the sponge, the more water it can hold. It is wise to establish watering practices that encourage deep root growth. This allows lawns to go longer between watering, cutting down on disease potential and, ultimately, the amount of water you'll use.

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How much should I water my lawn?

This will be driven by the weather. Water is lost from your lawn through a process called evapotranspiration. Evapotranspiration--usually referred to as "ET"-- is the combined effect of water used by the plant and that which is lost to evaporation.

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How deep into the soil should water penetrate?

Water should penetrate to the depth of the roots (fill the root zone) or to the depth that roots are desired. This should be at least six inches. 

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What happens if I don't water my lawn enough?

If too much water is allowed to leave the soil, your lawn will not be able to extract what's left for its own use, leading to stress. This makes the grass weak and susceptible to physical damage, insect damage and disease.

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What happens if I over water my lawn?

More lawns are harmed by too much water than not enough. Over watering causes nutrients to be flushed away, resulting in higher fertiliser requirements. Over watering also displaces oxygen from the soil, which leads to shallow roots and a lawn that is disease prone and weed infested.

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What happens to grass during a drought?

If your lawn can't get enough water it will first go into a dormant stage. If the drought continues until the soil water is fully used, death will result for most grasses.  Some grasses may recover, however, the lawn's quality will not.

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What are the elements of an automatic irrigation system?

Controller/Timer

The controller, or timer, is the brain of your system, telling your sprinklers what day, what time and exactly how much to water. 

Valves
Installed above or below the ground, usually near the water source, valves regulate water flow to the sprinklers.  

Sprinklers
Installed in a special pattern for complete and even coverage, a properly designed automatic sprinkler system delivers precise coverage without gaps or runoff. 

Rain Switch (Optional)
A Rain Switch signals your system to shut off automatically when it's raining. There's no sense watering when nature is doing its part. The Rain Switch is a highly reliable and inexpensive option that saves water.

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What kind of sprinkler should I use?

The type of sprinkler you use really depends on what's being watered. There are five basic sprinkler types: fixed sprays, flood bubblers, stream bubblers, single-stream rotors and multi-stream rotors.  The fixed spray and two gear driven options are best for lawns.

Fixed-spray sprinklers produce a tight, constant fan of water ideal for small lawn, shrub and ground cover areas. Pop-up models pop up above grasses and disappear when not in use. Shrub sprays are mounted above foliage to water ground cover and shrubs.

Flood bubblers produce a flow of water that soaks the soil without wetting the leaves. They're ideal for tree wells, planters and shrubs.

Stream bubblers are for efficient watering of small planter beds and shrubs areas. Stream bubblers are available in a variety of patterns.

Gear-driven, single-stream rotary sprinklers cover large lawn areas most efficiently. Some single-stream rotors have an arc adjustment for placement in corners. Like other pop-up sprinklers, they pop up above grasses and disappear when not in use.

Gear-driven, multi-stream rotary sprinklers produce thin, attractive streams of water that slowly rotate to ensure proper penetration for medium-sized lawn and shrub areas. Multi-stream, pop-up lawn and shrub models are excellent for lawns or ground cover--especially on slopes.

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