GovernmentLivingClick to HomeVisitorBusiness
HomePrint PageEmail PageTwitterFacebookRSS
Go To Search
Outdoor Conservation
Landscape Watering Guidelines for Maricopa County (for ESTABLISHED Landscapes)
How Much & How Often Seasonal Frequency – Days Between Waterings Number & type of
emitters recommended
Water This Long
 Spring
Mar – May
 Summer
May – Oct.
 Fall
Oct. – Dec.
 Winter
Dec. – Mar.
Trees Desert Adapted  14 – 30 days  7 – 21 days 14 – 30 days 30 - 60 days 3 to 5, 4 gal/hr 4 - 6 hours
High Water Use 7 – 12 days  7 - 10 days  7 - 12 days  14 - 30 days 3 to 5, 4 gal/hr  4 - 6 hours 
Shrubs Desert Adapted 14 - 30 days  7 - 21 days  14 - 30 days  30 - 45 days  1 or 2, 1 gal/hr  2 - 3 hours
High Water Use 7 – 10 days  5 – 7 days 7 – 10 days  10 - 14 days  1 or 2, 1 gal/hr  2 – 3 hours
Groundcovers & Vines Desert Adapted  14 - 30 days  7 -21 days 14 - 30 days  21 - 45 days 1, 1 gal/hr 2 – 3 hours
High Water Use 7 – 10 days  2 – 5 days  7 – 10 days  10 - 14 days  1, 1 gal/hr 2 – 3 hours
Cacti & Succulents 21 - 45 days 14 - 30 days 21 - 45 days If needed 1, ½ or 1 gal/hr 2 – 3 hours
Annuals 3 – 7 days  2 – 5 days  3 – 7 days 5 –10 days Laser tubing 20min – 1 hour
Warm Season Grass (Bermuda, etc.) 4 – 14 days  3 – 6 days  6 - 21 days  15 - 30 days  sprinkler 15 – 20 minutes
Cool Season Grass (Rye, Fescue) 3 – 7 days None 3 – 10 days  7 – 14 days sprinkler 15 – 20 minutes  
These guidelines are for established plants (1 year for shrubs, 3 years for trees). Additional water is needed for new plantings or unusually hot or dry weather. Less water is needed during cool or rainy weather.

Drip run times are typically 2 hours or more for each watering.

Thinking about Over-Seeding? Before making your decision, consider the following reasons for not over-seeding:
  • Save money – The cost of seed, water and labor. Turf uses 60 percent more water per square foot than a low-water-use landscape and not too mention on your sewer bill.
  • Prevent difficulties – The overseeding process (scalping, verticutting or power raking) can be very stressful on a Bermuda lawn.
  • Most turf experts recommend allowing your lawn areas to ‘rest’ every three years. This allows the Bermuda to regain its vigor.
  • Save water – Ryegrass seed needs copious amounts of water to germinate. Once established, ryegrass needs water every three to five days, whereas dormant Bermuda grass needs water only once a month. Over the four or five month winter lawn season, 1,000 square-foot of rye uses 19,000 gallons more than dormant Bermuda!
  • Save frustration – Seed germination problems, fertilizer problems, disease problems, and irrigation problems are all possibilities when planting a winter lawn.
  • Set an example – We live in a desert and water is our most precious natural resource.

TIP
: While Bermuda grass typically goes dormant in the cold months, it is possible to extend the length of its growing season and lush green appearance well into winter. The University of Arizona turf specialists recommend multiple applications of iron (2-4 oz of actual iron per 1000 square feet). Apply the first application about October 1, the next 10 days later and follow up again after another 10 days. Do not apply nitrogen fertilizers. Remember that even dormant Bermuda needs ½ inch of water per month during the winter.

Interesting Water Facts
  • It is illegal to discharge your pool or spa water into the streets
  • A home lawn sprinkler uses about 10 gallons per minute.
  • A broken sprinkler head can lose up to 12 gallons per minute. 
  • A reverse osmosis water treatment system can use up to 5 gallons for every gallon of filtered water it produces. 
  • A ½ inch diameter garden hose delivers 5 to 8 gallons of water per minute; over 300 gallons per hour.

Here are a few tips: 
  • Landscape with Xeriscape groundcovers, plants and trees that require less water.
  • Avoid planting turf in areas that are hard to water such as steep inclines and isolated strips.
  • Water your plants deeply but less frequently.
  • Only water your lawn and plants when needed. It is not necessary to water as much in the fall as in the summer.
  • Choose a water-efficient drip irrigation system for trees, shrubs and flowers. Watering at the roots is very effective.
  • Use organic mulch around plants to reduce evaporation and save hundreds of gallons of water a year.
  • Group plants with the same watering needs together to get the most of out of your watering time.
  • While fertilizers promote plant growth, they also increase water consumption. Use only the amount of fertilizer needed.
  • Reuse aquarium water to water plants.
  • Over the four or five month winter lawn season, 1,000 square-foot of rye uses 19,000 gallons more than dormant Bermuda!
  • Turf uses 60 percent more water per square foot than a low-water-use landscape.

Save water – Getting ryegrass seed to germinate requires watering three times a day or more, and spikes in water usage are always noticeable during the months of October and November when winter rye is seeded. By not over-seeding, over 8,000 gallons of water can be saved for every 1,000 square feet of grass each season.

Drain and Backwash Pools – Legally & Safely
When you need to backwash your pool filter or drain the pool, try to use the water to irrigate landscaping. Do not drain pool water into the street, alleyway or other right-of-way or drain near any structure (walls, houses, etc.) If you have to drain your pool completely, your best option is to empty it into your home’s sewer clean-out pipe. For questions regarding this process, please contact the Engineering Department at (623) 333-4219; Water Resources at (623) 333-4400.

Visit the Arizona specific site www.wateruseitwisely.com/arizona where visitors will find regional landscaping tips, local resources, and over 100 ways to conserve water indoors and outdoors.