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How to Tell
If You Water Enough
April 12 , 2007  --  Issue 6
Better Fields for Better Play
Jim Reiner

The turf is alive!  You need to feed it, keep the bugs away, and keep it groomed. 

And you need to water it.

Here are three ways to tell if you are watering enough

  1. Sometimes you have to water by hand.  You might have certain spots on the edges that the sprinklers just don't cover well.  Or it is over 100 degrees out and you want to hand water to control the watering. 

    So, how do you know when you have hand watered enough? 

    You do the 'squish' test.  Suppose you are watering a 10' by 10' area. You spray back and forth, a little here, a little there. 

    The turf has enough water when you step out on it and you can hear and feel your shoe go 'squish.'  If you don't get the 'squish' then you need to water some more.

  2. As you walk your infield turf check for hard lumps.  This is easy to do when you walk behind your mower as you mow the field. 

    If the subsurface of the turf previously was smooth and flat, but is now starting to feel lumpy and bumpy it might indicate a lack of water. 

    The grass may still be green, but the roots and the ground is starting to stress.  As the moisture evaporates it often does not leave the field smooth.  It leave bumps and lumps.

    If this happens, soak the field.  Then soak it again and roll with a 100 lb lawn roller a couple times and all will be well.

  3. The obvious one: the grass is drying up and turning brown.  Water longer and more often till it revives.


Have fun!

Yours for better fields,

J. Reiner

Jim Reiner
Publisher, Editor, & Groundskeeper
The Ultimate Baseball Field Renovation Guide

If you just finished overseeding or fertilizing your turf, then you need to pay special attention to its irrigation needs and how you water.

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