Watering Instructions for Atlanta Homeowners | O'Neill Landscape Group
Watering a lawn and landscape plants at a home in Roswell, GA.

Watering Instructions in Woodstock, Roswell, Alpharetta, & Nearby Areas

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Thank you for choosing O'Neill Landscape Group for your landscape project in Roswell GA. We understand that you want to protect your investment in your landscape and help your new plants and sod thrive! Below are your watering instructions, your manual to protect your investment! Thank you for your business!

Your project will need supplemental watering– not just irrigation system water

Watering Instructions

Watering for sod- DO NOT LET YOUR NEW SOD DRY OUT. For the first 5 to 7 days- use the “rule of squish”- You want the sod to be wet and squishy under your feet- After 5 to 7 days you can cut back on watering to twice a week. Watering for 20 mins is usually a good time frame. For a more technical approach one inch of water per week. Use a rain gauge, water every other day for short periods. Try to grip and pull the sod, if it pulls up like a front door mat, it hasn’t rooted in and will need continued watering. RESISTANCE or FIRM hold to the ground means the sod is rooted in and is beginning to become self suffiecient in regards to obtaining water.

Watering New or Transplanted Trees and Shrubs

Many factors contribute to effective watering. Sun, shade, slopes, heavy clay, mature trees in area, etc. The owner must monitor the moisture level under the mulch after the first week and get an understanding of the conditions. Holding too much water is as much of a concern as not watering at all. Plants need to have oxygen and like to dry out between watering.

Initial Watering (Based on well drained area)

Conditions can vary on the same property. NOTE: Rain should not replace watering new plants unless it is a 4-hour or longer steady rain. Summer showers do not penetrate enough to get to new roots.

If plants are installed in the months of April through September

Follow the guideline below:

  1. Water all plants each day for the first three days
  2. Water three times a week for three weeks
  3. Then, water twice a week for three months – for poorly drained property, ask your designer
  4. For best results, water once a week the following summer
  5. NOTE – in drought conditions, even mature trees and shrubs need to be watered.
Plants installed in the months of October through March.

The need for watering is typically reduced due to increased rainfall and lower temperatures during this time of year. Water all plants each day for the first three days – then reduce above instructions by one-half.

Annual Flowers , Sod and established lawn

All prefer one inch of water per week. Use a rain gauge, water every other day for short periods.

New Seeded Lawn

The best time to seed lawns in our region is late summer to early fall. No matter when grass seed is sown, constant moisture is critical. Keep the seed wet until germination. Water three times a day (10, 2 & 5) until germination, then three times a week unless rainfall helps fill rain gauge to one inch.

How to Water
  1. The best way to water is slow and steady at base of plant or beside root ball for larger trees
  2. With hose, set water flow slow enough to soak into root system and not run off
  3. Water each plant about one to five minutes depending on size of plant. Stop if water runs off
  4. For trees, lay the hose at trunk, on a trickle, for 15 to 30 minutes or more; until run off occurs
Overhead Watering
  1. If using sprinkler from a water hose, keep water on for a minimum of one hour
  2. All sites and water sprinklers are different so pull back the mulch and inspect the root balls in a few places to determine the site’swatering needs and customize accordingly.
Professional Automatic Irrigation System

Losses of plants are more likely. Overwatering is very common with this efficient method. Use water gauge and monitor closely.

How and When to Water Your Lawn

Watering your lawn is the most important part of a successful lawn care program.


Proper use of irrigation water to fill the gaps between rainfalls is critical to a healthy lawn. Efficient use of this important natural resource will keep water bills lower.

  • Follow local irrigation ordinances or restrictions when watering your lawn.
  • Drought tolerant lawn grasses will revive once rainfall occurs or irrigation restrictions are lifted.
  • To be most efficient when watering your lawn, irrigate your lawn:
    1. when winds are calm
    2. in the early morning hours (minimizes evaporation loss)
    3. when the lawn is showing signs of drought stress
  • Do not irrigate in the evening (to reduce risk of disease)


There are two basic kinds of sprinkler systems:

1. Automatic lawn irrigation:

The most efficient method of irrigating a lawn is through an underground lawn sprinkler system. It is a good investment in your lawn as well as the value of your home. A professionally installed system should be designed for complete and even distribution, have

The most efficient method of irrigating a lawn is through an underground lawn sprinkler system. It is a good investment in your lawn as well as the value of your home. A professionally installed system should be designed for complete and even distribution, have battery back-up for any timing devices, and a rain sensor to stop the system when rain occurs.

2. Portable hose sprinklers:

These systems are less expensive than under-ground systems. Sprinklers may be either “portable surface” (the most common) requiring moving the sprinkler to each area of the lawn or “traveling sprinkler,” one that follows the hose or a cable around the lawn. Both types of sprinklers need frequent observation to avoid mis-application and water waste.

How Much

As a general rule, keeping your lawn healthy requires 1 inch of water weekly, including rainfall. Water once every 2 to 3 days in dry weather (about 1/2 inch at each application). If one or more inches of rainfall occur in a week, additional irrigation is not necessary. (Example: if 1/2 inch of rain occurs within a growing week, apply 1/2 inch by irrigation.)

Heavy clay soils will require less water and less frequent applications than sandier soils.

Water as deeply as possible without causing run-off. Water to supplement rainfall shortages only. Avoid fixed timer irrigation settings. Do not waste water by over watering; avoid standing water for any period of time.

To determine how much water you are applying, place gauge midway between the sprinkler and the end of the coverage and check waterdepth in the gauge after a planned length of time (approximately 1/2 hour), then calculate the total time needed to apply 1/2 inch.

Remember . . .When watering:
  • Water deeply and infrequently. Proper use of sprinkler water will result in a healthier and attractive lawn and lower water bills.
  • Consider spot watering localized dry spots instead of the entire lawn.
  • Water areas on mounds and berms and near buildings more often, where reflected heat dries the turf.
  • Avoid irrigating until water runs off the lawn surface and on to walks and roads.
  • Tree shaded areas may require more water to support both trees and turf grasses.
  • Avoid standing water for any period of time.
When landscaping:
  • Select drought tolerant varieties like zoysia, centipede, and bermuda grasses
  • Reduce steep slopes in lawns so that water does not run off rapidly.
When maintaining:
  • Consider letting the lawn go dormant in drought conditions; zoysia, centipede and bermuda grass lawns will regenerate once water is more available.
  • Remove thatch so that water easily reaches the soil around turf plants.
When fertilizing:
  • Fertilize lawn at proper rate for your location and turf selection, to prevent run-off of excess fertilizer.
  • Aerate heavy soils to promote better fertilizer and water penetration to lawn roots.
When mowing:
  • Mow lawn only when needed and avoid scalping.
  • Always use a sharp blade.
  • Mow as infrequently as possible.
  • In drought conditions, mow at a higher cutting height with a sharp blade.
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