I am of the mindset that deep watering once a week is better in the long run than the teaser “once a day” program. Why? Let me explain from a grass roots’ perspective.
You, little Roger Root, are getting started; burrowing your way down into the earth like any good root would do. But, you are not finding water; in fact it’s getting dryer the deeper you go.
You stop; you feel some moisture above you, up near where you started. So you circle back, making your way to the surface. And sure enough you fine water, and this is where you decide to stay; you and all the rest of your root brethren and sisteren.
Yes you are finding water in the morning; it’s wet in about an inch of the top soil, but man is it getting crowded. We’ve got roots starting families and having more roots. Roots are moving in from neighboring root communities; there’s hardly any room for topsoil.
But that’s not the worst of it. Come the noon hour the sun starts burning off that one inch of moisture. Now, not only is it noses to derrieres down here, we’re getting super parched ta boot. Pretty soon we’ll all start dying due to overcrowding and lack of timely water.
Now let’s look at the lawn Ronnie Root calls home.
He too starts out burrowing his way down into the earth like any good root would do; but he finds water, and plenty of it. Why? His sprinkling buddy waters a good 45 minutes once a week. This wets the soil to a depth of 5 to 6 inches. Yes, the sun still burns off the top one inch of top soil, but that doesn’t bother the roots any, they went deep, and stayed deep.
Of course you can’t do this with a newly seeded situations or newly rolled out sod lawns, but once they have establish themselves the next year you can then begin to back off the watering times to get them to go deep.
You will find that your grass will handle the droughts better, and you’re not applying any more water than the everyday people. Let’s say they are watering 7 days a week for six minutes and wetting one inch into the topsoil. You are watering 42 minutes once a week and going down 5 inches where the sun can’t burn it off.
Granted, some stretches of dry, no rain, periods will need some additional sprinkling, that’s OK. Just get them to go deep; that’s the goal.