Watering and fertilizing is absolutely essential in proper lawn maintenance for Arizona. A properly fertilized lawn will actually require less watering.
The first indication that a drought or lack of fertilization condition could be affecting your lawn is a change in the grass color. Grass that is not getting enough moisture and feeding will lose the intense green shades and with a bit more time they will begin to show areas of turning a straw color. Lack of moisture and feeding both show signs of shade color.
Best time of day is to water at sunrise. Watering times vary depending on what type of watering system is in place. Apply a minimum of 1″ of water per week during the months of May thru August. To accomplish this will depend what type of sprinkler heads are used and how much coverage you actually have. Pop-up sprayers will run fewer minutes than rotary sprayers. You also want to accomplish this in the first 4 days of the week. DO NOT WATER DAILY. Depending on the type of sprinkler head you have and the size of the lawn, the slope of the lawn will determine how many minutes to water. If using pop-up sprayers, watering time can range from 2 minutes to 20 minutes. Yards with sloped lawns may need to run multiple start times in the morning for a few minutes each to achieve proper amount of water. Example 4AM & 6AM. Rotary sprinkler heads may need to run from 15 minutes to 60 minutes. If your regular mowing day is Friday, then start watering schedule from Saturday to no later than Tuesday. Leave watering off 3 days prior to mowing. This forces root system to stay far enough below the surface and the lawn will cut nicer when it is dry.
Another aspect of lawn care maintenance is proper fertilization and weed control. Good basic maintenance will go a long way in keeping your lawn healthy, thriving and with few weeds. Spring is the best time to fertilize your lawn as this is when the grass is “waking up” and will need the extra nutrients from the fertilizer to assure healthy growth. The best lawn fertilizers will have a combination of nitrogen, phosphates and potash. A best lawn fertilizing will be represented with the numbers 21-7-14 one-time per month. A properly fertilized lawn will choke out weeds.
Any questions on how to determine the proper watering schedule for your lawn can be achieved by hiring a qualified licensed professional lawn service. They can assess your system and best tell you exactly how often to water your lawn.