Turfgrass

When to cut back on watering???

When to cut back on watering???

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joshua5438 – posted 03 October 2007 17:53

I live in the Upstate of SC. The days have been near 80 and the nights have been in the 60’s. I have been watering about three time a week for 1.5 hours at a time in the early morning. My yard is starting to turn brown. This is the first year that I have ever had Bermuda so I am wondering if these temps are causing it to start going dormant or do I need to start watering it more or less. Also, how and when do I cut back on watering? I know that I have read to water in the winter if it has been dry for awhile but I am not sure what I should gauge this by..

Thanks, Josh

seed – posted 03 October 2007 20:24

Josh, bermudagrass should not go into dormancy from temperatures in the 60s, so something else may be making it turn brown.

The duration of irrigation that you indicated, 1.5 hours, may be sufficient or even in excess, but that depends on the sprinkler system’s precipitation rate, inches per hour, which you did not mention.

Your sprinkler system’s precipitation rate can be determined by the cup catchment test, by placing many cups in the grass like this and measuring and averaging the depth of water in each cup after a controlled run of 30 or 60 minutes, and converting to inches per hour if other than 60 minutes is used:https://www.turfgrass.com/water/index.html

This procedure is one way of finding the average inches per hour, also it will help show you if there are dry areas that the sprinklers do not reach.

A reasonable goal is to apply no more than 3/4 inch, or in heavy soils maybe 1 inch, of water per irrigation event, to adequately wet the root zone. Different kinds of landscape sprinkler heads produce precipitation rates varying from about 1/2 to maybe 2.5 inches per hour, so unless your sprinkler system has poor uniformity or you have sprinklers very far apart, it is likely that you are watering enough or too much.

The water use of bermudagrass is generally much less than 1/2 inch per day, so three irrigation events per week should be sufficient to replace the water used between waterings.

Phil

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