How Much Water Does Your Lawn Really Need?
Common Turf Grasses in the Colorado Front Range
- Kentucky bluegrass will use 24-26 inches of irrigation per growing season to produce a lawn of good to excellent quality with no brown spots.
- Kentucky bluegrass can be grown with 15-20 inches of irrigation per growing season to produce a lawn of lower, but acceptable quality with some brown spots.
- Tall fescue will use 20-22 inches of irrigation per growing season if it develops a deep root system and substantial subsoil moisture exists.
- Tall fescue will require more irrigation if deep rooting does not occur due to poor/shallow soil or lack of subsoil moisture.
- Fine fescue will use 18-20 inches of irrigation per growing season if it develops a deep root system.
- Buffalograss and blue grama lawns will require 8-10 inches of irrigation per growing season for a good quality lawn that will tolerate moderate traffic. Mid April thru September.
- Kentucky bluegrass, fine fescue and buffalograss can become dormant and survive prolonged periods (1-2 months) without precipitation and irrigation. Tall fescue lawns often die and become thin when deprived of water for similar time periods.
The above numbers are based on the following normal weather conditions in Colorado
- Normal precipitation (10-11 inches, April-October) and summer temperatures
- Good irrigation system coverage (80% efficient irrigation system coverage)
- Proper ground preparation read more…
- Extended drought and/or higher temperatures increase water needs for all grasses
Dr. Tony Koski, Colorado State University Cooperative Extension, csuturf.colostate.edu, revised June 2006