Here at Haynes Sprinkler and Drainage, we are dedicated to helping you keep your Bermuda grass in tremendous condition all year long. We also understand that every lawn is a bit different, so you need to know how to take care of your specific landscape. We recommend a method of watering known as “cycle and soak.” Bermuda grass needs deep watering, and this method usually accomplishes this to help the grass thrive. You do need to monitor it, and it may need to be changed for your specific lawn, but this gives you a good idea of where to start.
Please know the below information is still a liberal watering schedule. Especially in the spring, if we receive rains of about an inch per week there is no need to water the lawn. Your landscape beds, shrubbery, seasonal flowers may need other attention. Every lawn is different in how it responds to watering. Always consider slopes, shade or sun areas and adjust accordingly.
ONE OF THE GREATEST FAULTS MOST OF US HAVE IS OVER WATERING. Over watering can create numerous issues. Your grass will let you know when you need to water.
March-April – NOTE. IF RAINS ARE NORMAL THERE IS NO NEED TO WATER.
Start by watering your Bermuda grass 1 day per week. Water two back to back cycles. An example of back to back watering cycles is a start time of 4am and 6am. Set your run times to 7 minutes per zone with a 4-inch pop-up or 12 minutes per zone with a rotary type sprinkler head. You possibly may have other type spray nozzles. You can call our office for recommendations.
In the hot summer months of May and June use the same watering schedule as March and April. Depending on rains and temperatures you may find adding a 3rd cycle is needed. An example of 3 back to back cycles would be 4am, 6am and 8am. Best watering is between 4am and 8am. Check your cities guidelines for your watering days.
July and August tend to be our hottest and most stressful months. If you begin the season properly you will find you will have much better success in the intense summer. Don’t think that by watering longer periods will help. It does not. Watering longer than the recommended minutes only created run off and water waste. During these hot months keep the same watering days as May-June. If temperatures and lack of rain are more severe you may want to add a second day. If so, you can cut back to 2 cycles. Watering with the cycle and soak method will help reduce water run off and you will receive more actual water in the ground. Best watering times would be between 4am and 8am. It is not recommended to water during the late evening and early nights if possible.
In September and October, you can revert to just doing two water cycles, 2 days a week. This also works for November. These later months in the year, as things start to cool back down after the heat of the middle of summer, may not require as much water for Bermuda grass. Use your judgement. If fall rains ar good you can go back to one day a week and 2 cycles.
From December through February, you can do the least watering. If no rains, cold windy days, you may need to water once a week. You only need to do the same minutes depending on head type per zone and only one cycle no matter what type of head is being used. Please know that in most cases we turn off water during these months.
Always remember. This is a liberal schedule. If there’s a half-inch or more of rain in a week, you do not need to water.
How Should You Make Adjustments?
As noted above, you may have to make some adjustments depending on the specifics of your lawn. What type of soil you have under your Bermuda grass can play a big part, along with the fertilizer that you use. It’s often best to have a professional look at the soil type to give you an idea of what is necessary in your specific yard.
You also want to consider things like traffic volume, hills, low points, shade, sunlight and the general slope of the lawn. This helps to distribute the water. The schedule noted above is based on having proper head spacing with a specific irrigation system. If everything is designed perfectly, then it works, but you may still need to think about what parts of the grass are in the shade or where the runoff is going to go. As noted above, weeks in which you get significant rain also don’t require any watering.
Furthermore, remember that this is only for Bermuda grass. Trees, shrubs, flowers and other plants need different types of watering. Do not assume that you can apply this schedule to your entire lawn, and you may need to adjust things if you have different types of greenery.
Do You Have the Right System?
Because the type of system that you have is so important, you need to know what points to check. Here are a few examples that you can add to your checklist when designing your Bermuda grass watering schedule:
- Does the lawn have proper head spacing and are you using the right nozzle to distribute the water adequately?
- Does the sprinkler system provide full coverage to the entire lawn?
- Are any of the sprinkler heads too high or too low, which can negatively impact how well they cover certain areas?
- Are you using a controller that gives you enough start times and other options?
- Is your water pressure too low or too high?
- Do you have the right rain/freeze sensor? This may be a requirement in your area.
Furthermore, you need to think about water conservation. Many people aren’t even sure how much water they’re using. For instance, in 12 months, some estimates show that people use 282,479 20-oz. bottles. This is since you can go through 6,451 of these 20-oz. bottles in just seven minutes, or 1,008 gallons. Every year, people tend to use 11,700 cases of water bottles. Just to put in perspective. Water cost has gone up 4x in most cities over the last few years.
As you look at these numbers, you can see why it’s so important that you have the right amount of stations, the right type of sprinkler head for the job and the best possible coverage for your Bermuda grass. You want to make sure that this water usage is optimized for your yard so that you get excellent growing all year round, while conserving water as much as possible.
Texas Irrigator License # 0005972