For How Long Should You Water A Lawn?

For How Long Should You Water the Lawn?There’s nothing more satisfying than having a lawn that is healthy-looking, thriving, and brilliant green in color. Depending on where you live, you should understand how much water your grass needs to look its best. Give your lawn too much water, and you will be left with a soggy environment that encourages mold and fungus to take over. If your yard doesn’t get adequate watering, you might end up with a lawn that looks more like a dust bowl.

The average lawn during the summertime should get 20 to 30 minutes of watering time a few times a week. Don’t forget; depending on your geographic zone, the time of day, and the season, you may want to adjust how long and how often you water your lawn.

We have you covered if you are unsure about the best time to water your lawn, how to nurture different types of grass, and even handling water restrictions. Also, this article has some great recommendations on water sprinkling systems to keep your lawn looking lovely. Unleash your inner green thumb, and be prepared to gain a better understanding of your lawn and its needs. 

How Water Feeds Your Lawn

Knowing how much water your lawn needs is critical to maintaining a great looking property. Some key factors will impact how long and when you want to water your grass. Relax, once you understand how important it is to consider the following, you will become an expert on watering your lawn in no time.

  • Lawns need more water during hot seasons or in drier climates.
  • The time of day that you water your grass is critical, as morning waterings are ideal.
  • Know your grass; mature lawns require different watering than newly established lawns.
  • You can work with any water restrictions to ensure your lawn gets the attention it deserves.

Let your inner lawn-whisperer come through. Your grass will let you know how it is responding to your watering schedule, and whether the roots are getting adequate moisture or are parched from thirst. Ideally, in most regions, you will want to water your lawn before 10 am. If you have to commit to watering your lawn later in the day, opt between the hours of 4 and 6 pm. Don’t forget to include how much rainfall is naturally interacting with your yard to prevent overwatering. Most lawns will need an average of 1 to 1.5 inches of water each week.

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How Do the Time of Year And the Amount of Natural Rainfall Impact Your Lawn?

Water is an incredibly precious natural resource, so a responsible lawn owner needs to understand how nature can help or hinder your grass. Lawns will require more watering during drier seasons, and less watering when there is sufficient rainfall to nurture a lawn. Grass with a deep root system and drought resistance can tough it out when watering is minimal, and bounce back later. It is senseless to water a lawn every day or fight with evaporation by watering grass when temperatures are scorching.

Choose to work with the time of year, your geographical zone, and climate by choosing a grass that will survive the environment. Be mindful about when you newly seed grass; you don’t want it to end up soggy and washed out during rainy seasons. 

Understand your soil too, since clay will hold onto moisture like a sponge, and drier, sandy soil will need water more often to ensure the roots of your grass get enough. The bottom line is nature can be a friend and aid to your lawn, provided you pay attention. You can cut back on watering your yard, or brace yourself to step up your schedule based on the time of year and amount of rainfall.

What to Do When Your Lawn is in the Shade or Sun?

Every lawn is different, and your grass will respond to your layout, grass type, and climate. Most grass should be watered in the morning before 10 am, whether it is in the shade or the sun. If you are worried about keeping a watering schedule, consider getting a water timer. Check out this water timer on Amazon. Grass that is in shady areas should not be overwatered or left soggy at night because of the increased risk of disease. Sunny areas are more likely to lose more water to evaporation and may need more frequent watering.

Overall, remember that grass growing in the shade and the sun both need enough time to lose any excess moisture. You want the root systems of your turf to get adequate moisture, but not end up drowning in water because of negligence or overcompensation. When in doubt, choose to water your lawn at varying intervals within the week and allow enough moisture to penetrate the roots. Check on grass that is shaded by trees or shrubbery, and don’t overlook a lawn that is constantly in full sun to ensure balance.

What Type of Grass Do You Have?

The type of grass you have will help set the tone for how often you need to water your lawn. Bermuda and Zoysia grass are drought-tolerant, better suited for warmer regions,  and don’t need to be watered as frequently. Fescues, Bluegrass, and Rye are ideal grass for shady areas or colder areas. Depending on your turf, some species are better cut long than short and have a variance in established root systems; this impacts your watering schedule.

Are you feeling unsure about what type of grass you have growing? You can quickly figure out your grass with a little observation. Look at how new shoots grow, check whether your grass blades have pointed or rounded tips, and observe the overall growth rate. Typical lawns may have the following type of grass growing: Kentucky Bluegrass, Bermuda, Fine Fescue, Tall Fescue, or Ryegrass.

Understanding Your Watering System and How Much Water Per Minute is Used

It’s easy to turn on the sprinklers if you have an established system set up in your yard, versus having to pull out the hose and manually put your sprinkler system together each time. However, you need to know your watering habits to reduce waste, care for your lawn efficiently, and save on your water bill. 

If you want to make sure your lawn gets a minimum of 1-inch of water, you will need a little over half a gallon of water for each square foot of turf. You can easily calculate your water usage by multiplying the square footage area times 0.623 gallons. Use a water gauge and monitor natural rainfall to stay on top of your lawn care and water use. Keep in mind, most soils outside of clay will allow 1-inch of water to reach grassroots up to 4 to 6 inches in depth.

Check out this water gauge on Amazon. 

What To Do When There Are Restrictions on Water Usage?

If you live in a region where there are water restrictions, consider planting drought-resistant grass types that require less watering. Choose to alter your irrigation schedule so your grass gets used to infrequent watering, and can better tough things out. You can help your lawn adjust by changing the watering schedule gradually over a couple of weeks. During hotter weather or in more arid conditions, keep grass blades high to increase shade and encourage deeper root systems. Avoid fertilization, which readily depletes water and promotes stress.

What Are the Signs That Your Grass Needs More Water?

Nature always finds a way to communicate, and your grass gives tell-tale signs when it needs more water. A distressed lawn may become discolored, have irregular dry patches, or will be completely dried out. If you see blades of grass rolling up or taking on a grey or blue-gray color, your lawn is thirsty. Don’t stress about your lawn as your grass can recover. Make sure to rule out animal urine or fertilizer burns, which may be mistaken for lack of water.

Test your lawn out by walking over it for a bit and observe your footprints. If the grass doesn’t return to its shape and you still see prints, it’s time to give your grass some water. Avoid overwatering your lawn to prevent the growth of fungus and stressing root systems.

How Does Your Lawn Layout Impact Your Watering Schedule?

Get to know your lawn well if you want to understand when and how to water your grass effectively. Areas that are shaded by trees may get spotty rainfall, filtered sunlight, or be slower to release water. Consider planting shade-friendly grass types like turf fescue, fine fescue, or centipede grass. If your lawn gets a minimum of six hours of sunlight, it should be fine.

 Also, think about how your lawn is shaped and the total surface area it covers. Choose your sprinkler system or irrigation system according to the maximum surface area needed to be covered so that all of your grass gets enough water. If you wish, feel free to alter your lawn by adding or removing elements like trees, rocks, etc. to improve your watering.

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Should You Water Your Lawn Before or After Fertilization?

Fertilizer is helpful to your grass, but care must be taken with watering. You will want to water your lawn a few days before you place down fertilizer, and lightly water your grass once it is dry again. Watering your grass before introducing fertilizer opens up the soil, and the second watering helps set the fertilizer. Avoid using fertilizer on your lawn when there are heavy water restrictions or hot, dry weather since fertilizer needs significant water.


In case you have any other questions or concerns about your lawn, we have a bit more information to give you. Feel free to read our answers about watering different types of grass, significant differences between sprinklers, and what to know about specific geographical zones.

How Long Should Bermuda Grass Be Watered?

You can choose to water your lawn daily for 15 minutes or encourage hardier grass and root systems by committing to an infrequent watering schedule. Bermuda grass will be just fine in a Southern region that receives plenty of sunlight. Make sure your Bermuda grass receives anywhere from 1 to 3 hours of watering until the water reaches the soil 1-inch in depth.

How Long Should St. Augustine Grass Be Watered?

St. Augustine grass is an attractive choice for anyone living in a geographical zone that experiences subtropical or tropical conditions. If this type of grass is grown in sandy soil, it will require more frequent watering than clay. During the rainy season, you can cut back and water your grass once a week.  Depending on your sprinkler system and how long it takes to soak your lawn up to half-an-inch in-depth, watering takes 20 minutes up to an hour.

How Often Should I Water My Lawn With a Sprinkler System?

The average lawn needs a minimum of 1-inch of water per week to thrive. You can choose to water your grass lightly 10 to 15 minutes a day or do an intense weekly watering for an hour or longer until the soil and roots absorb enough water. Many lawn owners opt to water their lawn three times a week for about 20 to 30 minutes.

How Long Should Sprinklers Run in Each Zone?

Optimize your watering routine by understanding the zones within your lawn. Beware how water runs around flat or sloped areas to prevent erosion and loss of nutrients. Areas of your yard that receive more sun, or during hot weather, you will need to water more and longer. Choose the type of sprinklers and their placement wisely to reduce water waste. Ideally, your lawn will thrive, receiving 30 minutes of water per each zone, or two 15-minute sessions.

How Long to Water the Lawn With An Oscillating Sprinkler?

Younger lawns that have yet to establish deep, mature root systems are best watered with an oscillating sprinkler. Before you run your sprinkler, you need to know how long it takes for your lawn to receive half-an-inch to one-inch of water. Depending on your lawn’s surface area and layout, run your oscillating sprinkler from 30 minutes to an hour to reach the proper soil depth.

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How Long to Water the Lawn With a Pulsating Sprinkler?

Use pulsating sprinkler systems on a lawn with deep roots, and grass that is firmly established. In ideal conditions, prepare to water a yard with a pulsating sprinkler a minimum of two times a week for 15 to 20 minutes, so the lawn receives half-an-inch of water. Check out this pulsating sprinkler system on Amazon.

How Long to Water Grass Seeds?

Strike a balance when watering grass seeds, and give your lawn a light misting 2 to 3 times each day, until germination begins. A 10-minute watering session should keep seeds from drying out. Remember to avoid watering your lawn deeply and for too long, until root systems establish themselves. 

How Long Should You Water New Sod?

It can be exciting putting down new sod, but it will require some constant attention for the next two weeks. New sod should be watered a minimum of 2 times a day, up to 3 to 5 times a day. The first week it is critical to keep the sod thoroughly moist. Good times to water new sod is around 8 am or 1 pm, and avoid watering at night to prevent the growth of fungus. Water your sod for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the sod is wet up to a depth of 4 to 6 inches.

How Much to Water the Lawn After Fertilizing?

Get great results and avoid fertilizer burn. Treat your lawn and put down fertilizer in the morning, and wet down your grass so that soil and fertilizer are moist. Avoid overwatering, but check your yard to ensure the fertilizer is dissolving and being absorbed into the ground and roots of the grass. Watering the lawn for 15 minutes should suffice, but adjust accordingly based on the type of fertilizer used and temperature.

How Long Should I Water My Lawn in Texas?

The great state of Texas enjoys sub-tropical conditions, so you should be ready to water your lawn two times a week for 20 minutes to an hour during the middle of the year. During the beginning and the end of the year, you will want to increase your lawn’s watering schedule for up to 5 hours each week. Adjust your lawn’s watering needs based on the type of grass used, especially when a drought-resistant variety.

How Long Should I Water My Lawn in Utah?

During spring and fall, opt to water your lawn three times a week for up to 30 minutes. In the summertime, grass will need a more extended watering schedule, with 45-minute sessions or longer. Water your lawn, so it receives enough moisture up to 2 inches in depth during the spring and up to 3 inches in depth in the summer.

How Long Should I Water My Lawn in California?

Watering your lawn in California can be challenging because of water restrictions, but it is possible to enjoy beautiful grass. Southern California has more drought-prone conditions, so water your lawn in the morning a few times a week for 20 minutes, up to 3 hours total time, or until the water reaches the right soil depth. In the winter and fall, you can reduce your watering schedule to once a week at a minimum of 20 minutes. 

How Long Should I Water My Lawn in Florida?

Work with water restrictions and sunny weather and hot temperatures by watering your lawn accordingly in Florida. Water your lawn 30 minutes to an hour to reach ¼ in soil depth, or during warmer weather early in the morning. Usually, watering the grass between 20 to 30 minutes can reach ½ of soil. Increase the effectiveness of your watering by adjusting your grass type, layout, and sprinklers used. 

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