Watering Guidelines

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Water has become an important issue for most Massachusetts communities. As the population and the amount of water used per person continue to increase, the problem will become more acute, especially during periods of little precipitation. Some cities and towns have already imposed strict restrictions on outdoor water use. Home gardeners should be aware of the seriousness of the situation and try to conserve water whenever possible. Here are some suggestions for making the most efficient use of limited water supplies.

Watering Lawns

Although the amount of rainfall received in Massachusetts is generally ample, it is not uniformly distributed throughout the year. Thus, it occasionally becomes necessary to provide supplemental irrigation, especially during the summer months. Water is lost from the plant root zone by gravity, evaporation, and plant use. If plant or soil water content becomes limiting, drought stress and/or turfgrass death may occur.

When is Irrigation Necessary?

Many variables influence the amount of water used by turfgrasses. These include: amount of solar radiation, temperature, humidity, wind, grass species, and rate of growth. Rooting depth and soil texture also affect turfgrass water needs. More deeply rooted grasses can extract water from a greater volume of soil and are thus more drought tolerant than shallow rooted species.
Finer textured soils hold more water than coarse soils and require less frequent irrigation. Because so many factors interact to determine turfgrass water use, it is difficult to give a general estimate of how often to water a lawn. The best technique for determining when to irrigate is to observe both the soil and plant conditions in the lawn and then water it when needed rather than on a particular calendar date.

Read More: https://ag.umass.edu/landscape/fact-sheets/efficient-outdoor-watering