1. For plants planted during the main growing season (mid April through the end of October)
● Turn drippers on for 20 minutes a day until Fall.
● Then start to wean the plant- decreasing frequency until you are only watering three times a month during December, January and February.
2. For plants planted in late Fall/Early Spring (November or March through mid April)
● Turn drippers on for 20 minutes every other day until season change.
3. For plants planted in Winter (December through February)
● Turn drippers on for 20 minutes every week until Spring.
Exceptions: Lawn grasses, annuals, hanging baskets, root bound plants, plants in pots and plants purchased in 4″ pots or smaller, need to be watered daily if planted in the heat of summer. Extreme xeriscape plants will need about half as much water to get established but will always do better with occasional deep watering even after established. If it rained 1/4 inch or less, water anyway! Looking at the soil's surface will tell you nothing, you have to get your finger dirty!
Lawn Watering 101 Let's start with the theory and then we'll get specific. When the lawn first goes in it needs to remain very moist (not deep soaked) until it roots. You don't need to waste water "deep soaking" yet because we don't have any roots down deep yet. Pick up a piece of sod just before the next watering cycle and if it is still wet then that is all we need at this point. During warm months the grass will begin to root within about a week or two. Look at the bottom of the grass and you will see little white roots to confirm that this is happening. During colder months this will take a few weeks longer. Just keep watering and it will root.
Once you can no longer easily pull up a piece of grass it is rooted. And you can start the long process of getting the roots to go deep into the ground and finally develop a little drought tolerance. If you continue to water a little everyday then the roots stay close to the surface and will never develop the deep roots that are necessary for drought tolerance. Then start a little game with yourself. Instead of seeing how green you can make your lawn by over watering try to see how little water you can use and get similar results. This is achieved by less frequency but deeper watering.
New Grass Plantings 3 times a day for 5 minutes till rooted–Then 1 time per day for 15 minutes thru first growing season.
Year old and older Grass 1 time every 3 weeks for 20 minutes when not freezing in Winter 1 time a week as the grass greens up for 20 minutes in Spring and same in Fall. As infrequent as possible to keep it green– Probably 2 or 3 times a week for 20 minutes.
Some soils in the NE Heights will hold water longer and produce run off if watered for 20 minutes so back off to a shorter time. The sand of the west mesa won't hold water and can probably take 20 without runoff. Adjust your watering accordingly. Learn to brag to the neighbors about how little water you use and still get good results rather than just pouring the water to it and hoping that you don't get fungal problems.