Watering tips

The most common asked question  -- when and how much do I need to water my trees ?

I advise to water 1 inch of water every 4 weeks.  So how much is an inch of water? Put a small can or tub of any size under the tree's drip line --  at the end of the branches, where, if it rained,  the water would drip down to the ground.  Turn on the a sprinkler and wait until you have an inch of water in the container.  If the tree is on a slope, water the uphill side first.  If you see water running off the surface, its time to turn the water off.  If the can only has an 1/2 inch of water, try again the next day.

If we get a good soaking rain, note the date, and schedule your next tree watering period  in 4 weeks.  Better yet --  get yourself a rain gauge.   Along the Wasatch Front, we usually get a series of rain storms in the middle to end of May, so I start my tree watering schedule  in the last week of June and water in the last weeks of July, August and September.  If we get an early snow, in October, I'm done watering for the year.  If we don't get any snow by Thanksgiving, I'll water that weekend and call it good for the year.

How about the grass you ask.  One inch of water per week.  Use a rain gauge to measure  the time it takes to put a inch of water and set your timers to run for 1/2 the time or twice a week.  When the grass turns brown in August, its not for the lack of water, the grass goes dormant due to the heat.  More water will not help and fertilizer will not help.

Set you mowing height to at least 2 1/2 inches.   

Water when the sun is low or down, winds are calm and temperatures are cool - between the early evening and early morning - to reduce evaporation.  From 6:00 am to 9:00 am  or 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm work for me.  You can lose as much as 30% of water to evaporation by watering mid-day. Do not water at night.

useful inks on irrigation