Save Money with Proper Lawn Watering
By Melissa Maynarich, NEWS 9
EDMOND, Oklahoma -- Weekend rain and extremely hot temperatures have many Oklahomans confused about how to keep their grass green while keeping their water bills down.
Overwatering can become a big problem for many residents, which can lead to alternatively brown and green grass. As far as watering goes, professionals say less is more.
Rex Oates doesn't know how to care for his lawn.
"I really don't. I'm working without a manual here. I'm doing whatever feels right," Rex Oates said.
He waters three to five times a week, moving the hose around the yard every 30 minutes or so. It's not the best approach, but it is a common approach.
"People are thinking in their head ‘Well I'd better be watering in my grass everyday because it's so hot.' Which they're trying. Their heart is in the right place, but what we really need to be doing is watering less often. But each time that we do water, water more deeply," said OSU horticulturist Samantha Snyder.
Watering you lawn once a week to a four to six inch depth is best for the grass and best for your pocketbook.
"People are wondering why their water bill is so high. Because it's not a very efficient way to water when you are just watering a little bit every single day. Whereas if you watered just once, but you watered to a depth where the plants could get used to that and survive, you're not going to have to be watering as much," Snyder said.
The longer, less frequent soak will develop a tougher, more drought resistant yard. For Oates, it's the first change he'll make in his watering schedule.
"I want to get the bare spots filled in. I want it looking good, so I want to get the same kind of carpet," said Oates.
What about a week with lots of rain over the weekend but then the weather heats up again? Snyder says, if you've coached your grass correctly, you won't have to reach for the garden hose until the end of the week.
Start a watering regimen with the Simple Irrigation Plan. You can tailor the information on the site to fit your community, your grass type and your current watering cycle.