Sir Walter Premium Lawn Turf has been bred with drought tolerance in mind, giving you the most water efficient soft buffalo grass on the market. Learn how to give your ‘Sir Walter’ lawn the most efficient and effective watering …
Remember when first laying Sir Walter turf, it must be watered immediately and kept moist until the roots take hold.You’ll know this has happened when your freshly layed Sir Walter grass becomes difficult to lift. Using Sir Turf Launcher will assist in keeping the new turf moist near the roots during establishment.
Once your Sir Walter turf has taken root, you can decrease the level of watering to suit your climate. As a general guide, it is recommended that you deeply water your newly established Sir Walter lawn two to three times per week during the summer months, and once a week in winter. Once Sir Walter has been properly established, it needs only one deep watering per week (extreme conditions excluded).
If you notice that your Sir Walter turf is losing colour in its first month of laying, simply step up the waterings to allow it to establish completely.
Once established your lawn will still need to be watered. The amount required will of course depend on your access to water, but over-watering is wasteful and unnecessary. Don’t spoil your lawn. Water it deeply and for long periods rather than giving it frequent light sprinkles. Educate your lawn to go the distance, because on those hot, dry summer days, you’ll be glad you did.
Whether you’ll need to carry out weekly or fortnightly waterings will depend on your soil type, season and conditions.
Early mornings and evenings are when wind and evaporation are at the lowest point, making it the ideal time to water. If you live in a warm, humid area however, watering in the evening may promote some fungal problems, so it’s advisable to water in the mornings.
The best way to water your lawn is by irrigation. The simplest form is a hose and sprinkler that you move around the yard. It’s an effective way of watering if you remember to move the sprinkler to ensure even coverage of the entire lawn. It’s smart to remember to turn it off when the lawn is soaked.
Sprinklers with a rainmaker or arching pattern are excellent, but for lawns with sharp corners a fully adjustable impact sprinkler (the ‘chafe chafe’ type) are the best choice. These adjust to spray from one direction right up to 360 degrees, and everything in between.
Impact sprinklers on a small metal stand are priced around $45 (approx. $100 for a tall stand). Always set your sprinklers out to get head-to-head coverage of water, so that no area goes thirsty. Here’s some tips to getting the most out of your watering efforts, but be sure to talk to your Sir Walter Turf supplier to find out what will best suit your lifestyle and climate.
TESTING YOUR SPRINKLER COVERAGE
To test how even your sprinkler coverage is, eat lots of ice-cream!
Put the empty ice-cream containers out on the lawn turn on the sprinklers. If the containers catch water evenly you’re getting even irrigation. If not, invest in more sprinklers, or simply move your sprinklers to a better position.
TESTING THE EFFICIENCY AND DEPTH OF YOUR WATERING
Test the efficiency and depth of your watering by inserting what we at Sir Walter like to call a scientific probe. That is a knife blade or your finger! Do this about 12 hours after watering the lawn, if your instrument comes up dry, you aren’t watering deeply enough. Consult your friendly Sir Walter Turf supplier for tips on achieving a more efficient watering.
SHADED AREAS NEED LESS IRRIGATION
Remember, grass in shaded areas will use less water than in full sun, so shaded areas will need less irrigation.
WATER CANNOT PENETRATE COMPACTED SOIL
Water simply cannot penetrate compacted soil – if your lawn suffers from soil compaction, consider coring or rotary hoeing the area to improve water entry and grass root penetration. Or go for a walk on the lawn with coring shoes.
DO NOT OVER-WATER YOUR LAWN
Don’t over-water. When water starts to run off, your lawn has absorbed as much as it can for now.
Another great approach to watering your Sir Walter lawn is to invest in a Pop-Up Sprinkler System. Depending on your yard structure you could opt for one of three varieties:
- Fan Spray (covering approx. a 2.0 – 4.5 metre radius)
- Intermediate Gear Driven Sprinkler (covering approx. a 5.0 – 8.0 metre radius)
- Gear Driven Sprinkler System (covering approx. a 9.0 – 12.0 metre radius, or approx. a 10 x 10 metre lawn)
Varying application rates and coverage areas mean that there are a few ways to cover the same area with water. Using smaller sprinklers you may need up to 20 to cover the same area as four larger gear-driven sprinklers. However, smaller sprinklers can give you better control of over-spray if you have an intricate lawn area amongst paving or garden beds.
Fan sprays are available in variable arc nozzles producing a stream of water ranging from a small fan shape to half-circle or full-circle. Obviously, a larger spray means you cover a larger area.
But rest assured – most irrigation shops have a simple irrigation planner. You simply draw your house and block to scale, then mark in the areas of lawn and garden beds.
To test your tap’s flow rate use a 9 litre bucket and your watch. Simply run the tap into the bucket at full blast for 10 seconds, then measure the amount of water collected. Multiply the amount by six to arrive at your water flow rate per minute. In most cases, the irrigation planning service is free and then you can decide whether to install your chosen system yourself or leave it to the professionals. If doing it yourself, most kits are bagged and tagged into zones for easy installation.
When shopping for a pop-up system, look carefully at the seals. The better ones will have a double seal which prevents them from clogging up with dirt and grass clippings as they pop up and down.
Rain sensors can also be a worthwhile addition to your system, saving you precious water and money if the rains fall hard whilst you’re away from your Pop-Up Sprinkler System.
Controllers give you the flexibility to segregate garden and lawn areas according to variances in water requirements, as well as seasonal adjustment. A four-station controller (they are built with up to twelve stations) with three program settings will set you back around $170.
Be aware that it’s now law to have a ‘backflow preventer’ (approx. $60). Backflow preventers stop garden water from re-entering the water supply. You may also wish to install an isolation valve to separate irrigation water from household water.
A valve box is a good idea for safely housing solenoid valves away from harmful UV rays and accidental damage. And it looks tidy too!
Be sure to ask your Sir Walter supplier for more details on the best irrigation for your new turf.