Extension notes is written by K-State Extension of Harvey County extension agents Scott Eckert, Susan Jackson and Ryan Flaming. They focus on horticulture and agriculture.
Fescue is relatively drought-tolerant, but needs to be watered during the summer to keep it green. Avoid spring watering unless the lawn begins to wilt. Unnecessary spring watering reduces summer drought resistance and contributes to excessive growth, disease and weeds.
During dry summer weather, grass will have to be watered once or twice a week with a total of 1 to 1 1/2 inches of water applied per week. Morning watering is best. In the fall, water every other week if the weather is dry. A good soaking before winter is also helpful.
Apply the water at a rate that can be absorbed by the soil. Sprinklers vary in how fast they apply water; they can be checked by placing several flat-bottomed, straight sided containers on the lawn and then turning on the water for an hour. The average height, in inches, of water collected in the containers is the rate at which the sprinklers apply water in inches per hour. By performing this test, it can always be determined how long to run a sprinkler to apply a given amount of water.
Avoid watering every day, or even every other day, except for a newly seeded lawn. Besides wasting water, frequent watering causes shallow roots, disease and weed invasion. Watering should only be done when needed.
— Scott Eckert is a Kansas State Research and Extension Agent for Harvey County. Horticulutre is his specialty.