Although it might be surprising to learn, some people in Phoenix do have lush green lawns, even in the hottest months of summer.
However, there are certain regulations in place in Greater Phoenix to prevent a shortage of water in the city. If you're renting a home in Phoenix for the summer or have just moved to the city, you'll want to keep these rules in mind before you start landscaping your yard.
There are two major seasons for growing grass, winter and summer. In the summer, because of our extreme temperatures, it is especially important to know how to properly water your lawn while conserving water. While it may be tempting to water your lawn daily, you should use water wisely to maintain a healthy lawn without wasting any of this valuable resource.
You can use the "Water—Use It Wisely" guide published by the University of Phoenix in tandem with the city's monthly water conservation planner to better reduce waste while maintaining a pristine and manicured lawn.
Efficient Lawn Watering in Arizona's Desert
In order to keep your lawn green and lush, even in the driest summer months, you should know how much water your grass really needs. Your grass will be healthiest if the roots of the grass receive water every time you water. As a result, watering to a depth of 10 inches is best. To accomplish that, you apply about 3/4 inch of water during each watering session.
You can use a soil probe, or a long screwdriver to test the soil. About one hour after you have watered, push in the soil probe as far as it will go in easily. You should ideally be able to push it down 10 inches, but if not, water your lawn a little more until you are able to do so.
Knowing how much water your sprinkler system applies will also help you conserve water.
Most pop-up sprinklers apply about 4/10 inches of water for every 15 minutes, but impact sprinklers only apply about half that amount. You can also test your sprinkler output using this worksheet and instruction guide from the University of Arizona.
Once you know your sprinklers output, you can match your system output to your lawn's needs, and even put it on a timer so that it only waters it when the grass is dry. You should water an hour or two before the sun rises so that the water won't evaporate too quickly.
Watering Schedule by Season and Grass Type
Now that you know how long to water your grass, you need to know how often to water it. These watering intervals are based on average temperatures in the Phoenix area, so you might need to make adjustments for unseasonably warm or cold weather or for windy days.
In March, Bermuda grass only needs to be watered every 14 days or twice a month, while ryegrass needs to be watered every seven days. In April, you should water Bermuda every seven days and rye every four days. In the summer, from June through September, you'll need to water your Bermuda grass every three to four days, and unfortunately, the desert climate is too dry for ryegrass to grow during this season.
As the days begin to cool down, you can begin to water less frequently—every six days and 14 days for Bermuda grass and every three and 10 days for ryegrass in October and November, respectively—but it's important to keep in mind that winter grass is different than summer grass in the desert.
In December and January, you'll only need to water Bermuda grass every 30 days (once a month), and you'll only need to water ryegrass every 14 days. Because the sun is less direct during these winter months, your lawn will require less water for nourishment, but as the days heat up again in February, you should increase your frequency to every 21 days for Bermuda and every 10 days for ryegrass.