Why Water the Lawn Light and Frequent in Summer?

I just come across the following PDF page in Internet: http://www.espoma.com/pdf/garden/GI_4.pdf
It says that we should deep water the lawn. But it also says this: "During the summer, much of the root system deteriorates. Therefore, summer waterings should be light and frequent."
This is new to me. I am under the impression that we should always water the lawn deep, not "light and frequent".
Can someone help me to understand that suggestion?
Thanks.
Jay Chan
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I just read the same post about watering lawns lightly and frequently.
I have always understood that a lawn needs one inch of water once every week.
Shepherd
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Don't believe everything you read on the internet.
Jay Chan wrote:

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I'll second Buzz's opinion. That advise is contrary to what most turf experts and horticulturists recommend. Frequent, shallow waterings encourage surface rooting which is not conducive to enduring any periods of drought. This is exactly the process that allows for deterioration of the root system. A deep watering of at least one inch per week (applied all at once or at most, in twice weekly increments) is best for the long term health of your lawn. And keep that lawn mower on a high setting - the taller blades will shade the roots and conserve soil moisture.
pam - gardengal
Buzz Lightyear wrote:

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Not sure there's much to understand -- it's completely contrary to all convential wisdom on the subject and in short it just doesn't make sense. Perhaps in particularly hot climates the root system dies off somewhat, but that does not negate the value of continuing to water deeply -- deep watering serves the same benefit regardless.
James
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JNJ wrote:

sense.
somewhat, but

I've noticed that the landscaping service that handles many (if not most) of the large apartment complexes in the Portland, OR sets up their sprinkler systems to water for 15 minutes a night, every night. Of course their incentive is to create a situation that requires the complex to contract them to provide even more "service" to the lawn. (They also mow weekly, even in the downpours in spring and fall, leaving ruts and piles of slime that they then convince the complex to pay them to fix. They have some of the management companies convinced that they need to resod every five years or so.
(I think they share methods with the driveway contractor that's convinced the complexes that spraying a thin layer of liquid asphalt on the driveway each year will make it last longer.)
Perhaps this document is meant to be something crappy landscaping services can point to for "proof" that their destructive methods are the right way to do things, and continue to sell more services to the complexes.
They also only apply a thin layer of bark mulch so the crews can spend extra time pulling weeds each week. If I wasn't a basically honest person, I'd say they've got one great self-sustaining business there -- but only as long as they can continue to convince the apartment management companies that their methods are actually sound.
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Warren H.

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This is why I tend to not use contractors any longer. It's just become too difficult weeding out the ones worthy of trust and those that will scam you. I have a good example here from my book of irritants --> Last year I was having health issues and did not get out to cut my yard before it very much got out of hand. I hired a landscape/grass cutting service to cut the grass for me. I told them specifically to be careful around my rose bushes and trees -- they collared EVERY SINGLE rose bush I had as well as my trees. The owner's response -- you shouldn't have let the grass get that high! He went on to tell me that he didn't know what a rose bush looked like and that he didn't care about the damage as that was what they carried insurance for.
James
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Depends on how good your soil is under your lawn. We have a front lawn that requires very frequent watering in the hot summer because the lawn is on top of very sandy soil on top of the raised septic filter bed. So we can't dig up the area to improve the soil and we can't have any heavy equipment spread new topsoil over the existing lawn. Plus that wouldn't work for long anyways since the ants keep bringing sand up to the surface. Watering often seems to be the only thing that works to keep the grass alive. And watering deeply just wastes the water since the sandy soil is so well-draining. Slowly but surely we are converting part of this lawn to low-growing creeping thyme...but it sure is strange looking out at a purple lawn when the thyme is in bloom.
BT

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snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com (Jay Chan) wrote in message

In summer heat cool season grasses tend to go dormant for a month or so and then green up again in the fall. The frequent shallow waterings were to cool the lawn off. Not reccomended these days.
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Jay Chan said:

It's based on the latest and greatest research by the turf grass experts.
"The idea is to give the turf what it needs and get away from the idea that 1 inch every Saturday is the only way to irrigate" according to the Extension Service.
From the June 17, 2003 MSU Extension Service CAT Landscape Alert:
If rains cease and you desire a green lawn throughout the summer, there are two irrigation schemes that can be followed. The first is the traditional irrigation schedule of deep and infrequent applications in order to discourage shallow turfgrass rooting, flush salts from the soil profile and reduce weed competition. For those without in-ground irrigation systems this is most likely the irrigation schedule youll follow. Apply between 0.5 to 1.0 inches of water weekly depending on precipitation and temperature.
For those with an in-ground irrigation system, research from Michigan State University has shown that light, frequent water applications reduce damage from certain diseases and insects. Hot, dry weather will naturally result in a shorter root system so it could be argued that the majority of a heavy, deep irrigation application would move past this shallow root system and not be available for the plant. If you want to give the daily or maybe every other day irrigation scheme a whirl heres what you need to do. First of all I think it will take some tweaking based on what soil type you have, shady or sunny site, and turf species. The research project at MSU applied 0.1 inch of water daily at about 1:00 PM. This application serves a couple purposes: it cools the turf in the heat of the day and also applies just enough water to get it through. In several areas water restrictions would certainly prevent this type of irrigation scheme, if thats the case consider irrigating every second or third day with slightly higher amounts. The idea is to give the turf what it needs and get away from the idea that 1 inch every Saturday is the only way to irrigate.
[end exerpt]
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Pat in Plymouth MI

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Pat Kiewicz wrote:

PM. This

the day and

water restrictions

case consider

Not everybody lives in a state surrounded by huge, fresh water lakes. One of the reasons more places don't have water restrictions is because enough people avoid raising the relative humidity by spraying water in the air at 1pm. There are plenty of places where if you sprinkle at 1pm very little of the water will ever reach the ground.
I think I'll stick to a method that I know works rather than switch to a method that might work, but wastes precious water. If I move to Michigan, maybe I'll reconsider. But for most of us, their proposed method is environmentally unfriendly at best, but more often it would be downright irresponsible.
And we haven't even touched on how impractical this is for someone who might not have time to water every day (or every other day). It won't take much to completely kill a lawn with shallow roots. Talk about high-maintenance, high risk, and only questionable benefit! I'll pass on their goofy, impractical recommendation.
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Warren H.

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Thanks for all the explanations on the reasons why someone may suggest watering the lawn light and frequent.
Although my lawn only has one thin layer of top soil over sandy soil, I still need to water for a long time (45 to 60 minutes) before the water can reach down 6" deep. If I only watered 15 minutes (as light and frequent watering), I would probably only water to 1" deep! Seem like I am much better off sticking with deep watering (but infrequently), and should work on improving the soil.
Jay Chan
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