Many years ago I worked with a lawn technician who was working WAY beneath his potential.  He was one of those guys who could probably have a white collared finance job or even be a professor of chemistry but for one reason or the other he chose to treat lawns.  As a result there were times where he became a bit of a lawn care philosopher and I wish he would have written many of his rambling diatribes on the human/lawn condition down because I would refer to them often.

One of his best annual rants took place every summer when the complaints about brown lawns would begin to roll into the office.  It happens every year, things get hot and things get dry and if you don’t water your lawn (or water it correctly) it will turn brown.  (It’s the plants defense mechanism to keep from dying altogether.)  Anyway, he would go into a well thought out verbal essay about how he just couldn’t understand how many of his customers could be living in very well to do homes, have very well to do jobs, raise very well to do kids, drive very well to do cars but when it came to figuring out why grass turned brown they would be as clueless as a first grader in trigonometry class.

Looking back on it now (and I hate to say it but it was a very long time ago) he was probably a little bit harsh but it’s true.  If you are watering your lawn for a half an hour per zone in the spring, when it’s 65 degrees do you really think that the same amount of water will suffice when its 90 degrees?  I guess it was those sort of things that would push him over the edge every summer so, with my old friend in mind, here are some ways you can stop messing up your lawn with the irrigation system.


The true answer to this question is, “Whenever you can” but take certain weather patterns in.

  • If it’s humid: NEVER WATER THE LAWN AFTER 6:00 pm.
  • If it’s hot and dry:  Water the lawn early in the morning or early in the evening.  (the heat of the day causes evaporation.)
  • If it’s cool and dry:  Water whenever.

Water when it needs to be watered

I know this sounds sort of silly but we see as much damage from too much watering than we do from not enough watering.  If your lawn doesn’t need to be watered……don’t water it.

If you can see your footprints in the grass when you walk on it your lawn needs to be watered.

If it’s rained every day for the last five days, your lawn does not need to be watered.  (obviously as of this writing, this example doesn’t really apply.)

Cycle and soak

We hear it all the time and it drove my friend nuts.  “I water every single day, for ten minutes per zone, do you want to see my water bill?”

Picture your lawn, now picture the roots of your lawn.  The roots can go down as far as six inches and that’s where the water wants to be.  We would much rather you water once per week for 70 minutes than 7 times per week for 10 minutes.  Get it?


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