Think about watering your lawn. Is it a chore? Does it dry out too quickly? Do you have to water it a couple of times a week? Does it look bad anyway?
You're probably watering wrong.
-Don't worry, you're not alone-
Light, frequent waterings encourage shallow, weak roots. Plant roots are lazy. If there's always water at the surface why should they grow deep roots when shallow roots get the job done? What happens the day you forget to water? What if the temperature spikes and all the surface water dries up long before you turn on the sprinkler? What happens is, you can go from green to burnt in one afternoon.
Deep, infrequent waterings are much better for the grass. Deep watering only once a week makes the grass search deeper for every last drop at the tips of their deepest roots. They also grow more roots in response and become more efficient at using and finding water. Not only does this help to grow a stronger, thicker lawn, but it helps them survive drought much better.
To water your lawn properly, your sprinkler needs to run long enough to put down one inch of water over the entire area it covers.
Well how long is that?
It varies for everyone. It depends on what kind of sprinkler you use and the size of area you use it on. So, to figure out how long it takes for your lawn:
We're going to measure it!
Place a tuna can, cat food can, or any small dish in the area you are watering. I put mine half-way between the sprinkler head and the outside edge of the area being watered. Then turn on the sprinkler and set a timer on your phone.
Every half hour, turn off the sprinkler and measure the depth of the water in the can. When you've collected an inch of water in the can, make note of how long it took and you're done! That's how long you need to run your sprinkler system to properly water the area!
For regular summer watering of an established lawn, you should water your lawn once a week, for the amount of time you discovered above. The thinking here is that either mother nature gives us at least an inch of natural rainwater each week....or we fake it with the sprinkler.