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NCSU Extension Publication:AG-763W
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Irrigation Management for Water Conservation

  • Irrigation frequency will vary with environmental or climatic factors. Frequency of irrigation is often determined by depth of rooting. Checking the depth of the root system with a soil probe or something similar can help guide how deeply to wet the soil profile.
  • Water should not be applied at a rate that exceeds the infiltration capacity of the soil, otherwise runoff may occur.
  • Deep rooting should be encouraged by thorough irrigation as infrequently as possible. A sure sign turf will benefit from irrigation is a wilted appearance. Footprinting of the turf followed by actual wilt where the leaves lose an upright erect appearance and take on a blue-gray cast are indications of wilt. Wilt will usually occur only in a few areas at a time which serve as good indicator spots when assessing the need to water.
  • The most efficient time to water is between 10 pm and 8 am. Nighttime is generally less windy, cooler and more humid resulting in less evaporation and a more efficient application of water.