Sod University


On average, the typical lawn needs about one inch of water per week during the active growing season; this can be provided by either natural rainfall or irrigation from sprinklers.

How to Measure One Inch of Water

The only way to know  how much water your lawn is getting when you turn on your sprinkler system is to measure it. First, make sure all sections of your lawn are getting coverage from your sprinkler system. If not, make adjustments.

Next, set out small containers throughout your lawn (tuna cans, water bottles or soda cans cut in half, etc.), let your irrigation run for 20 minutes, and measure how much water collects in each.

With this data, you can determine if you need to add or adjust sprinkler heads as well as how long you need to water to dispense one inch of water.

When and How Often to Water

Water deeply and less frequently. We recommend watering your lawn twice a week around 6:00 A.M. to make sure less water evaporates in the heat of the day.

If you determine that you can deliver one inch of water to your lawn using the above method, you will also want to have a rain gauge to measure how much your yard receives if it rains.  Then you can turn off your irrigation system when rain is forecasted and turn it back only when needed to prevent overwatering.

Water Holding Capacity

By adding organic material to your lawn i.e. topdressing it with compost or well-rotted cow manure, you can improve the soil’s water holding capacity beneath your lawn while also providing much needed plant nutrients. Your lawn’s health starts with the overall quality of the soil.

This practice should not only give you a healthier lawn, but also enable you to cut back on watering and help you save money.

To read more on irrigation technology and systems, check out our Irrigation Technology blog post.

Want to learn more about achieving a great lawn? Check out our other Sod University tips here

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