When to Stop Watering the Lawn

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Know when it's time to turn off the sprinklers on your lawn.

Watering your lawn is an important part of keeping a healthy, good-looking yard throughout the growing season. But sometimes water is not what your lawn needs. There are times when you should stop your watering schedule and simply leave the grass alone. If you know when to cease watering your lawn you will save precious water, save money on utilities and allow your lawn to grow properly. There are certain times when it is generally a good time to stop watering the lawn.



When the autumn arrives in most places the days are shorter and the weather is not as warm. This slows the growth of the grass on your lawn and it will require less water. Usually the water already in the soil is enough. There are exceptions to this rule in tropical climates where the days are much warmer throughout the year. In addition to the shorter days and cooler temperatures, autumn is also the time when brown patch fungal diseases invade lawns that are over watered. In most places this is a good time to stop watering until spring returns.


Over-watered lawns are more common than under-watered lawns. Part of the reason for this is a regular watering routine or automatic sprinkler system that runs through the spring and summer and is not adjusted when it rains. Some people may stop watering on the day it rains, but if there has been significant rain it may be enough to stop watering for several days. Keep an eye on rainfall totals and remember that most lawns only need 3/4 inch to 1 inch or water per week. So, if you get an inch of rain, you may not need to water your lawn again for a full week.


First Warm Summer Days

During the first really warm days of summer you may be tempted to increase the water on your lawn. This is not a good idea. In fact, do the opposite. Stop watering for a while when the weather first turns hot and dry. According to the American Lawns website, allowing grass to undergo slight drought conditions during this period will actually improve the roots of the lawn, encourage them to root deeper in search of water and keep the lawn stronger and healthier throughout the rest of the growing season.

After Fertilizing

You should stop watering, or at least water very lightly immediately after applying fertilizer to your lawn. It is also a good idea to avoid fertilizing when heavy rains are expected. This is to encourage the absorption of fertilizer into the soil completely and avoid it being washed away.



Lee Morgan

Lee Morgan is a fiction writer and journalist. His writing has appeared for more than 15 years in many news publications including the "Tennesseean," the "Tampa Tribune," "West Hawaii Today," the "Honolulu Star Bulletin" and the "Dickson Herald," where he was sports editor. He holds a Bachelor of Science in mass communications from Middle Tennessee State University.