Watering Condition Codes

Code Green:  Temperatures under 80 degrees and measurable Rainfall every 7 to 10 days.

No watering required, except to water in the granular controls or fertilizer applied with your lawn service.  If areas on your lawn have been seeded, then these areas should be lightly watered at least once a day for the first month after seeding.For more detailed information on watering your lawn go to our  “Watering Your Lawn and Landscape” and “How to Prepare Your Sprinkler System” bulletins on this website.

Set the mowing height to 4 inches for a regular size lawn and 4 to 4-1/2 inches for larger lawns.  By cutting at a higher mowing height now, your grass plants will develop a deep root system prior to the hot and dry weather moving in.  Recycling or mulching clippings returns moisture and nutrients back to the soil which will require less fertilizer and water.  For more information, go tothe “Mulching Mower Guidelines” on the website.

Code Yellow:  No measurable rainfall for a week or more regardless of the temperature range.

For customers who manually water their lawn and landscape, start your watering program by watering the large areas for at least 1 hour or 1 inch of water once a week.  For more detailed information on manually watering your lawn, go to our  “Watering Your Lawn and Landscape” bulletin.

For customers with sprinkler systems without a Smart Controller, you should have your controller set to water the large zones 3 times a week at 20 minutes per zone, for a total watering time of 1 hour or 1 inch per week.  For more detailed information on watering your lawn, go to our  “How to Prepare Your Sprinkler System” bulletin.

Set mowing height to 4 inches for regular size lawn and 4 to 4-1/2 inches for larger lawns.  Mowing at this height will reduce weeds, weed grasses and turf diseases.  Recycling or mulching clippings returns moisture and nutrients back to the soil, which will require less fertilizer and water.  If you have a professional mowing service, instruct the grass cutter to mow at the heights recommended above.  For more information, go to the “Mulching Mower Guidelines” on the website.

Code Red:  Temperatures consistently between 85 to 90 degrees and no measurable rainfall for a week.

For customers who manually water their lawn and landscape, increase your watering time for larger areas to 1-1/2 hours or 1-1/2 inches of water once a week.  For more detailed information on manually watering your lawn, go to our  “Watering Your Lawn and Landscape” bulletin.

For customers with sprinkler systems  without a Smart Controller, adjust the water budget or seasonal adjustment feature to increase the larger zones to 30 minutes 3 times a week, for a total watering time of 1-1/2 hours or 1-1/2 inches per week.  For more detailed information on watering your lawn, go to our  “How to Prepare Your Sprinkler System” bulletin.

Your mowing height should already be set to the highest level, which is 4 inches for regular size lawns and 4 to 4-1/2 inches for larger lawns.  Mowing at this height will reduce weeds, weed grasses and turf diseases.  Recycling or mulching clippings returns moisture and nutrients back to the soil, which will require less fertilizer and water.  If you have a professional mowing service, instruct the grass cutter to mow at the height recommended above.  For more information, go to the “Mulching Mower Guidelines” on the website.  Weekly mowing may not be necessary under these conditions, especially on non-irrigated turf.  Therefore, you should mow your lawn on an “as needed” basis until cooler and wetter conditions return.

Code Blue (At this level of drought and heat, the lawn and landscape can sustain permanent damage):  Temperatures consistently between 90 and 95 degrees with no measurable rainfall for a week or more.

For customers who manually water the lawns and landscapes, water the large areas either 1 hour twice a week (if runoff is a problem in certain areas of the lawn) or 2 hours once a week.  For more detailed information on manually watering your lawn, go to our  “Watering Your Lawn and Landscape” bulletin.

For customers with sprinkler systems without a Smart Controller, adjust the water budget or seasonal adjustment feature to water the large zones 40 minutes 3 times a week, for a total watering time of 2 hours a week.  For more detailed information on watering your lawn, go to our  “How to Prepare Your Sprinkler System” bulletin.

Your mowing height should already be set to the highest level, which is 4 inches for regular size lawns and 4 to 4-1/2 inches for large lawns.  Mowing at this height will reduce weeds, weed grasses and turf diseases.  Recycling or mulching clippings returns moisture and nutrients back to the soil, which will require less fertilizer and water.  If you have a professional mowing service, instruct the grass cutter to mow at the height recommended above.  Weekly mowing may not be necessary under these conditions, especially on non-irrigated turf.  Therefore, you should mow your lawn on an “as needed” basis until cooler and wetter conditions return.  Please instruct your professional mowing service to stay off the lawn if your lawn does not need mowing.  The heavy mowers can do permanent damage to the drought- and heat-stressed turf. For more information, click on the “Mulching Mower Guidelines” on the website.

7/17/2013

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