Watering Schedule for Zoysia Sod

Q: My zoysia sod was put down in mid-August. I have looked for a simple
watering information but they all talk about inches of water instead of time.
I’d have to put cups in random places, try to assess how much water is
collected during watering, etc. Can you suggest a watering schedule that’s not
so complicated? 

A: If you’d rather not measure irrigation with the cup averaging method, I
have an alternative. There are two main watering goals after laying sod. The
first is to give it enough water so that it roots healthily into the soil beneath.
To accomplish this, run your sprinkler in one spot for thirty minutes. Turn it
off, wait five minutes, then walk barefoot in the area for a few seconds. If
water squishes up between your toes, you have watered enough in that spot.
Move the sprinkler and repeat until the whole lawn has been watered. The

second watering goal, after the grass is well-
rooted, is to wean it down to grow healthily with just a single watering per

week. Lawn grass hates being wet all the time. It is happiest if you give it five
or six days to dry out between waterings. The idea that a lawn must be
watered every week from June until September is simply wrong. In dry
weather, if you walk across the lawn in mid-afternoon and can see your
footsteps behind you, the grass roots are dry and the lawn needs watering. Use
the barefoot the method described above to know when you’ve watered
enough for that week.

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