How To: Water Your Lawn During a Drought

We’ve gotten a number of calls from customers asking questions about lawn watering in a drought: How often? How long? What times of day? Until we begin to get normal rainfall, or until it’s time to shut your system down, here are some watering tips.

Watering Tips:

  • During a drought, keeping your grass green can sometimes take almost daily watering. Water between the hours of 4 AM – 6 AM. Increase your watering time per zone by about 50 percent.
  • You shouldn’t have to water more than 6 or 7 days a week. However, if your lawn still isn’t as green as you’d like, simply repeat your watering schedule immediately following the first run-through. If you’re worried about over-watering, check out “When to Water Your Lawn – Signs of a Thirsty Lawn.”
  • If you still have brown spots after you’ve increased your watering, you could have fungus. It’s hard for the average homeowner to know the difference and unfortunately, many lawns do have fungus this year.
  • Don’t water during the heat of the day. The water evaporates faster than the grass can absorb it.
  • Don’t water at night because it leaves your lawn susceptible to fungus and diseases.
  • Inspect your irrigation system or call us and we’ll come out and do it. You want to be sure all sprinkler heads are working and that spray patterns are giving you adequate coverage.
  • Sharpen the blades on your mower. Dull blades tear grass, which stresses it and forces it to use 40%-60% more water.
  • Leave your grass longer than you would normally (about 3.5 inches for Blue Grass and Fescue). Longer grass establishes deeper roots.
  • Mulch your grass by leaving clippings on the lawn. This helps slow evaporation so that your grass retains more moisture.
  • Wait until fall to fertilize. Fertilized lawns use more water and fall is the best time to fertilize anyway.
  • Kentucky Blue Grass and Tall Fescue will turn brown without watering. However, the grass can survive about a month without moisture.

Note: Want to know How to Adjust Your Sprinkler System Controllers, watch our instructional videos.