TABLE OF CONTENTS:

RESIDENTIAL LAWN WATERING GUIDELINES
MONTHLY WATERING NEEDS
SPRINKLER OUTPUT WORKSHEET
SPRINKLER RUNTIME TABLE
THREE WAYS TO WATER BLUEGRASS EFFECTIVELY
METHOD 1 - CSU's LAWN WATERING GUIDELINES
METHOD 2 - RESETTING YOUR SPRINKLERS TIMER MONTHLY
METHOD 3 - WATERING BY THE FOOTPRINT TEST

 

HOW MUCH WATER DOES YOUR BLUEGRASS NEED?

This is a reproduction of a brochure provided by Colorado Springs Utilities (CSU) and reprinted with their permission.  Our thanks to CSU and we hope it helps you. Remember, the water irrigation requirements published in the Gazette are for Colorado Springs, and reflect the recent rain history in the city.  It may or may not have rained here in the District.

Residential Lawn Watering Guidelines

The high, dry climate of Colorado Springs makes it tough to keep Kentucky Bluegrass green, but maintaining a good-looking lawn doesn’t have to mean applying excessive amounts of water.

MONTHLY WATERING NEEDS INCHES
PER WEEK


JAN/FEB 1/4"
MAR/APR 1/2"

MAY

3/4"
JUNE 1 1/4"
JUL/AUG 1 1/2"
SEP 1 3/8"
OCT 7/8"
NOV 3/8"
DEC 1/4"

Kentucky Bluegrass thrives on far less water than the average homeowner applies to it.  Bluegrass only needs water every two or three days, not every day! Watering deeply and less often results in a healthier lawn with a deeper root system.

Three easy ways to give your bluegrass the exact amount of water it needs are described in this literature.

Three Ways to Water Your Bluegrass Efficiently

Chose one of the watering methods described below.  Follow the easy directions referring to the Sprinkler Output Worksheet and the Sprinkler Run Time Table included.

(Method 1)
Watering by CSU’s Lawn Watering Guidelines – (formerly ET)

This is the most scientifically accurate way to irrigate your bluegrass.

This method is best for homeowners who have access to the daily newspaper or the web and are willing to vary their irrigation schedules, as needed every two to three days.

1. Determine your sprinkler’s output rate in inches per hour using the Sprinkler Output Worksheet.

2. Look up the Lawn Watering Guidelines, published daily in The Gazette on the weather page, as well as on Colorado Springs Utilities’ website at www.csu.org/, to find out how much water you need to apply to your lawn today.

3. Use the Sprinkler Runtime Table, to find out how long to run your sprinklers by matching your sprinkler’s output rate (step 1) with the amount of water you need to apply to your lawn today in step 2.

4. Run your sprinkler for the number of minutes indicated in the Sprinkler Runtime Table in step 3.

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(Method 2)
Watering by Resetting Your Sprinkler’s Timer Every Month

This is a good, scientific way to irrigate your bluegrass.

This method is best for homeowners who don’t have time to look up the Lawn Watering Guidelines every few days, but do have time to look up and vary their lawn watering schedules once a month.

1. Determine your sprinkler’s output rate in inches per hour using the Sprinkler Output Worksheet.

2. At the beginning of each month, find out how much water your bluegrass needs each week from the Monthly Water Needs Chart.

3. Divide the amount of weekly water your bluegrass needs (step 2) by the number of times you want to water your lawn each week.  (Usually, watering two or three times a week is sufficient.)

4. Use the Sprinkler Runtime Table to find out how long to run your sprinklers.

5. Run your sprinklers for the number of minutes indicated in step 4.

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(Method 3)
Watering by the Footprint Test

This is a good way to irrigate your bluegrass.

This method is best for experienced gardeners who have time to check the condition of their bluegrass daily, and can water when needed.

1. When your bluegrass holds footprints for more than an hour, it needs to be watered.

2. Determine your sprinkler’s output rate in inches per hour using the Sprinkler Output Worksheet.

3. Using the Sprinkler Runtime Table, determines how long to run your sprinkler.

4. Run your sprinklers for the number of minutes indicated in step 3.

Please note: These methods are applicable only to established bluegrass lawns.  They are not suitable for newly sodded or seeded bluegrass lawns.  Also, if your lawn is on clay soil, you may find that water is running off when you irrigate as directed.  In that case, you may want to apply half the amount of water needed in one cycle, and apply the other half 30-60 minutes later, after the first half has had a chance to soak in.  If your lawn is on extremely sandy soil and browns when irrigated as directed, the water is draining away too rapidly, and you may want to water more often

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SPRINKLER OUTPUT WORKSHEET

To measure sprinkler output:

1. Set out 6 identical straight-sided cans, placing them between sprinkler heads and the edges of their farthest watering patterns.

2. Run your sprinkler for 10 minutes.

3. Pour all the water collected in the cans into one can.

4. Measure and record the depth of the water.  This is your sprinkler’s output rate in inches per hour.

5. If you use several different types of sprinklers to water your bluegrass, or have an automatic sprinkler system with more than one zone, repeat this process for each sprinkler type or zone.

6. Record your output rates for future reference.

MY SPRINKLER OUTPUT RATE IN INCHES PER HOUR:

Zone 1: __ _ Zone 2: __ _ Zone 3: _ __

Zone 4: ___ Zone 5: ___ Zone 6: ___

Zone 7: ___ Zone 8: ___ Zone 9: ___

Zone 10: __ Zone 11: __ Zone 12: __

Zone 13: __ Zone 14: __ Zone 15: __

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SPRINKLER RUNTIME TABLE

To determine how long to run your sprinklers:

1. Find the sprinkler output rate that matches yours in the column at the far left.

2. Move right (horizontally) along the row with your sprinkler output to the vertical column headed by the amount you need to water your lawn.

3. The box at the intersection of the sprinkler output row and the column headed by the amount you need to water your lawn shows the number of minutes to run your sprinkler.  For example, if your sprinkler output rate is 7/8 inch per hour, and you need to apply ½ inch of water to your bluegrass, you should run your sprinkler for 34 minutes.

 

INCHES OF WATER NEEDED

 

 

1/4 3/8 1/2 5/8 3/4
1/4 60min 90min 120min 150min 180min
3/8 40min 60min 80min 100min 120min
1/2 30min 45min 60min 75min 90min
5/8 24min 36min 48min 60min 72min
3/4 20min 30min 40min 50min 60min
7/8 18min 27min 34min 43min 52min

1

15min 23min 30min 38min 45min

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VISIT COLORADO SPRINGS UTILITIES XERISCAPE DEMONSTRATION GARDEN LOCATED AT:

2855 MESA ROAD
COLORADO SPRINGS, CO 80904

OR VISIT www.csu.org

A very informative DVD can be viewed by going to the Colorado Water Conservation Board’s website http://cwcb.state.co.us/conservation/ and click on the verbiage on the right side of the green xeriscaping icon.   The video is approximately 25 minutes.

 

WORLD WATER SHORTAGE SLIDE SHOW

A very informative presentation about water conservation can be viewed by clicking HERE.  This presentation is viewed using power-point from microsoft.