Irrigating grass in May...

It is still only spring but after the driest April in years following an equally dry March, we are well into water deficit situation in the ground. Does daily light watering have any useful value?

Ideally, there should be water supply in the soil to the depth of the grass roots. Water below that is of no immediate benefit to the grass plant. It becomes logical too to expect that a sprinkler operation programme must enable water to penetrate to at least 40mm into the soil profile to avoid being quickly lost by the power of the sun. Applying enough water to barely wet the surface makes it highly probable that this water will be lost in a day by evapotranspiration. Furthermore, water in the soil below the surface is lost more slowly and becomes more effective – this all means that ensuring penetration into the soil makes it unnecessary to water every day and irrigation cycles can be comfortably spaced out to at least two or three day intervals.

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