When and How to Water Your Lawn in Arizona
Recently moved to Arizona and aren’t sure how much water you need to water your grass? Here are a few tips and a month-to-month watering guide to ensure you water your lawn in Arizona correctly.
Most homes in Arizona have lawns that need specific maintenance and care. Unlike other climates around the nation, in the desert, we only have two seasons for grass: Winter and summer. Due to our harsh summer temperatures and mild winters, it’s important to know how to properly water your lawn, all the while conserving water.
Grass in Arizona is the healthiest when the roots receive water. To ensure your water is reaching the roots, there needs to be enough to reach a depth of 8-inches. This is done by applying about ¾ of an inch of water during every watering session. To test the soil to make sure it received the water it needs, stick a soil probe or a long screwdriver into the soil about an hour after you have watered. If it goes down 8 inches, it was watered correctly. If not, you may need to water a little longer.
It would also be a good idea to know how much water your sprinkler system applies. You can test this by placing plastic cups (all the same type) throughout your lawn and measuring how much each area is receiving.
To know exactly how long to water your grass, here are a few tips:
Before sunrise in the summer, water for 20-30 minutes so the water doesn’t quickly evaporate.
If the ground is mushy, the lawn is getting too much water and you should cut back.
Check your sprinkler heads on a regular basis to make sure the water is coming out and is going to the right area.
To know when to water your lawn in Arizona, here is a month-to-month guide:
- Bermuda grass: Every 30 days
- Ryegrass: Every 7-14 days
- Bermuda grass: Every 21 days
- Ryegrass: Every 7-10 days
- Bermuda grass: Every 14 days
- Ryegrass: Every 4-7 Days
- Bermuda grass: Every 7 Day
- Ryegrass: Every 4 days.
- Bermuda grass: Every 4 days
- Ryegrass: Every 3 days
- Bermuda grass: Every 2-3 days.
- Ryegrass: Every 2-3 days
- Bermuda grass: Every 6 days (if overseeding, stop watering 2-3 weeks prior to seeding)
- Ryegrass: Every 3 days (3-5x/day for short intervals when germinating)
- Bermuda grass Every 14 days
- Ryegrass: Every 10 days
- Bermuda grass: Every 15-30 days
- Ryegrass: Every 7-14 days
Transitioning Your Lawn through The Seasons
If you have a winter rye lawn, the transition back to bermudagrass can be tricky. Ideally, bermudagrass will start to grow in late March to early April, depending on spring temperatures. However, most types of ryegrass blends available today are so hearty that they will grow all the way up to monsoon season when increased humidity combines with high temperature to finally kill the rye.
Because the ryegrass was still going strong when the bermudagrass was trying to come back, Bermuda missed out on the light and subsequent warmth it needed to green-up in the spring. Unfortunately, when this happens, the bermudagrass only has a few months to try to grow as healthy and thick as possible before it is time to overseed again in October. This often leads to thin or blotchy lawns that are a common site from July through September. This can become a perpetual cycle that leads to lawn looking worse each year.
Avoiding the Bad Transition
There are a few options to try to avoid this bad transition. A Green Keeper technician can apply a product to the rye lawn in spring which will slowly kill the ryegrass over about 60 days. This results in a smoother transition from cool-season to warm-season turf. Another option is to start mowing your rye lawn shorter and shorter once overnight temperatures stay above 60 degrees for several days in a row. This will allow more light to reach dormant Bermuda and promote growth, we also recommend applying a turf fertilizer with a high nitrogen content such as Turf Royal 21-7-14.
We do not recommend turning off your sprinklers in March to try to kill off the rye, that is the time when the bermudagrass will be using all of it’s stored energy to try to green-up. If there is no watering during this time, it can damage the Bermuda roots and may ruin it’s one chance to come back.
If you are new to Arizona and want some help to keep your lawn looking spectacular or to get it back to a nice green color, contact Greenkeeper today. We offer services such as weed control in lawn and rock landscapes, lawn fertilization, tree trimming, and shrub care to keep your yard looking beautiful.