Phoenix, AZ is no stranger to tumultuous droughts, especially during summer and spring seasons. The conservation of water is especially important in this area to support local guidelines in year-long drought protections. While a green lawn may seem unattainable here, there are watering techniques that make grass very efficient in conserving water with not very much water at all. Here are some tips on achieving that luscious lawn during drought season.

    What is the best lawn watering schedule for Phoenix, AZ lawns?

    Watering a lawn is most efficient when wind speeds and evaporation are minimized. The time of day that this usually aligns with is in the morning when the sun is rising and at night time. Watering at night is slightly more risky than watering in the morning. However, if night time fits your schedule better, you will just want to keep a closer eye on how much water the grass is getting. It is easier to over water a lawn when the sun isn’t helping to soak up excess water.

    Understand that with different weather, a watering schedule will change from week to week. If the weather is cold or windy, it is best to not water as much that day. In general, although it varies with different grass types, a lawn should receive about an inch of water each week. Its best to have a tool to measure rainfall so you can manage additional water conservatively.

    If the goal is to have a green lawn the course of action has to be to train roots to grow deep. You do this by watering deep and infrequently. When you water, whether in the morning or at night, the grass should have water trickle to about ten inches deep. To test this, you can use a screwdriver about an hour after watering to see how deep the soil will allow it to go. If it is around the 10-inch range then you are watering properly. If it is not then you need to water a little more.

    What are the best grass types for conserving water?

    1. Bermuda grass

    Bermuda grass is a great option for Phoenix homes. It is drought tolerant and resistant to traffic and other stresses. This is a warm-season grass and will go dormant during the winter. To maintain green all year you can overseed with Ryegrass. This grass does really well-conserving water and only needs to be watered about once a week with about an inch of water.

    2. Midiron

    Midiron is another grass type that thrives in Phoenix for its drought tolerance and resistance to traffic. This lawn requires very low maintenance and like Bermuda grass needs about an inch of water every week during peak growing season.

    What are the two best irrigation systems for Phoenix, AZ?

    Irrigation systems take the sweat out of consistently watering the lawn. They are reliable and mostly last very long. Timers allow for the homeowner to designate how much water the lawn receives and when it receives it. Most of human error can be taken out through one of these systems.

    1. Drip Irrigation

    Drip Irrigation has been coined as the most efficient form of irrigation. The Drip systems are incorporated by the base of the grass and or plants. The water drips directly into the base of the grass minimizing runoff and evaporation. This type of system works really well in a desert environment. Sometimes soil becomes overly dry and when it is watered there becomes a flux of runoff. If you’re looking for the best conservation of water, this is it. This system is more geared towards smaller lawns.

    2. Sprinklers

    Sprinklers offer a wider coverage than drip irrigation and are a very popular choice for residential properties. Automatic sprinklers will come with a timer that can be adjusted. These should be watched closely after instillation to ensure there is not runoff water. If runoff occurs change the settings to smaller durations of watering time. If used correctly these can be efficient for water conservation.  

    Pro Tip: Plant Wisely

    In any region, residents should aim to plant plants that are native to the area. For Phoenix especially, you will want to plants plants that do not rely on much additional water. Plants like Cacti, Succulents and native wildflowers do really well in this climate and may not even need any extra water. If you are planting any trees remember that shaded areas of the lawn do not need as much water as exposed sections of the lawn.

    Read more: 5 Native Plants for Easy Gardening in Phoenix, AZ

    Local Watering Restrictions for Phoenix, AZ

    Currently there are no water restrictions in this area but conservatory methods are recommended. For more information visit the Phoenix, AZ government page.

    Looking for more lawn care advice? Visit our Phoenix, AZ lawn care page for a list of pros and additional lawn care tips.

    Top Photo: Flickr // Dean Terasaki