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 30 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 midafternoon and can see your footsteps behind you, the grass roots are dry and the lawn needs watering. Use the barefoot method described above to know when you’ve watered enough for that week.
Q: What would happen if I let my emerald zoysia grass grow on a steep bank without mowing? Debbie Miller, email