Water conservation is big on everyone’s minds when you live in the desert. A common question we hear from homeowners is: what are the best times to water your lawn in Arizona?
Tips for watering your lawn
Early in the morning
When you use sprinklers, some water evaporates before it hits the ground. On a hot, windy day, the amount of water that never reaches your grass can be considerable. To reduce loss, water sometime between 4 A.M. and 8 A.M., when the air is still cool and the wind is usually at its calmest.
Avoid watering your lawn with hot water. On hot days, the water inside your hose can become very hot from the sun. It’s better to just skip watering that day, and water early the next morning. Run your hose after the sun has gone down, to empty out any hot water.
Water only when your grass needs it
Water conservation isn’t the only reason to limit the amount of water you give your lawn. Overwatering is also bad for your lawn’s health and can contribute to the development of fungus and disease. Some types of grass require more water than others, and environmental factors such as temperature, humidity, and wind can dramatically affect how frequently you need to water your lawn.
During the super-hot summer months, water lawns no more than once every three days. Remember to water deeply. Water long enough to move water to a depth of 8 to 10 inches into the soil – you can use a probe or long screwdriver to check the depth. The probe moves easily through moist soil and is resistant where the soil is dry.
Aim your sprinklers to water the lawn
That’s the part that needs the moisture—not the sidewalk or street! Slight adjustments to your sprinklers can save a lot of water. Ideally, you shouldn’t water your sidewalk, patio, street, or driveway at all.
Even with sprinklers correctly targeted at the lawn, many people water until—or even after—water begins to run off the grass and into the street or driveway. This can waste a lot of water, and it isn’t doing your lawn any good.
Let the rain do your work for you
Nothing looks more wasteful than running your sprinklers while it’s raining. If your sprinkler system is on a timer, install a rain sensor that automatically turns the water off when it rains. If possible, also avoid watering if rain is expected later in the day or during the next day. Your grass should be fine, even if it looks stressed.
Water problem areas by hand
Many lawns have one or two spots that require more water than the rest of the lawn. South-facing slopes or unshaded areas in an otherwise shady lawn are two common examples of these “problem areas.” If you water your entire lawn every time you need to water these hot spots, you’ll likely overwater everywhere but these spots. Instead, water them by hand or use a separate sprinkler that’s not attached to the rest of your irrigation system.
For more information on the best times to water your lawn in Arizona, check out this chart from about.com: How To Water Grass In Phoenix, Arizona