& Lawn Watering
Watering Schedule for the Greater Albuquerque Area
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)
drippers on for 20 minutes every other day until season change.
3. For plants planted in Winter
(December through February)
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
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.