SAN MARCOS, TEXAS — Southwest Texas State University officials say frequent irrigation will be necessary to ensure the survival of grass being planted at new athletic fields on campus.
“We hope the public will understand that this irrigation is necessary in order to have these fields ready for play in the fall,” said Brad Smith, director of grounds operations at SWT.
Smith said it was impossible to predict how long the frequent daytime watering will be needed.
“That’s going to depend on the weather and on the performance of the grass sprigs we’re planting. Under perfect conditions, the most frequent irrigation might only take one or two weeks, but it could be longer than that,” he said.
The new fields are on Academy Street near the water tower. They will be used as intramural fields and by the university’s varsity women’s soccer team. The fields are being planted with sprigs of hybrid Bermuda grass, and Smith said frequent short irrigation cycles during the day are necessary to keep the ground moist at all times until the plants can form mature root systems.
“Without this consistently moist environment, they will quickly desiccate and die,” Smith said.
As the plants begin to establish their root systems, daytime watering will gradually be scaled back, Smith said.
“The university is very aware of the importance of water conservation in this region, and we’ll be as careful as possible in that regard, but this irrigation schedule is vital to the survival of the grass,” he said.