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A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Sunday - November 23, 2008

From: Georgetown, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Turf
Title: Watering schedule for sod lawn
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

We just moved to Georgetown, TX, where we have a 2-month old sod lawn (NOT Zoysia) that appears to becoming fairly well-established. We want to conserve water for environmental and financial reasons. Now we water once every other day. What is the proper watering schedule, as we understand that the lawn will go dormant soon?

ANSWER:

There are several factors that need to be considered to answer your question.  First, you say your lawn is NOT zoysia, but you don't say what it is.  The type of grass on your lawn definitely affects the amount of water needed. How much you need to water also depends, of course, on whether there is regular rainfall.   The time of year matters, too, since you will need to water more in the spring and summer when the grass is growing than in the fall and winter when it goes dormant. In fact, the City of Austin's Grow Green Earth-wise Guide to Lawn Care advises that: "Watering is seldom necessary during the dormant season (December-February)."  Since your lawn is just barely established, you might want to water it occasionally during the winter—unless we miraculously begin to get our normal rainfall.  You can find other excellent information for irrigating and maintaining your lawn in the publication from the City of Austin and you can find "Grass Species (Adapted Region) How Often to Water", comparing several turf grasses, on the Landscape Texas webpage.
 

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