How Often Should You Water Your Lawn?

Many homeowners take pride in your lawn, and you should too. After all, a well-manicured yard is the perfect finishing touch to any home. Watering your lawn can be a chore, but it’s important to keep your yard looking lush and green.

How often you need to water your lawn depends on a variety of factors, including the climate, the type of grass, and how much rainfall the area receives. For example, summertime is synonymous with hot, dry weather, and without regular watering, your lawn could quickly turn brown and die.

But what about in other seasons? In general, how often do you need to water your lawn to keep it looking green and healthy? In this blog post, we’ll provide some tips on how to determine how often to water your lawn – and when you might need to adjust your watering schedule depending on the season. So read on to find out more!

What Does Water Do For Your Grass?

Your grass, and all of the plants in your lawn and garden, need water to survive, as all living things do. And aside from keeping your grass and plants alive, there are many benefits to watering them on a regular basis.

One of the major ones it that water keeps your lawn healthy and thick. A thick and healthy lawn has multiple helpful properties. It is less susceptible to weeds, fungal infestations, and other diseases that can affect grasses and crops, and if your grass does happen to get one of these diseases, it will be better at fighting it off.

A full and healthy lawn also counteracts against soil erosion or your soil getting to compacted. A well-watered lawn will have roots that reach down deep into the soil, keeping it fortified and allowing water and nutrients to flow more freely both throughout the soil and within the grass roots.

Lastly, a lush, green lawn is simply more appealing to look at. It can improve your quality of life, as well as the resale value and curb appeal of your home. You will want to spend more time playing and relaxing outside with a lawn that you enjoy and want to look at.

Sprinkler Watering Rates

When it comes to watering your lawn, professionals usually talk about it in terms of the inches of water it needs over a certain period of time, typically a week. For example, your lawn might need 1.5 inches of water a week. So, how do you figure out how much water that is, and therefore, how often and how long you need to water for?

If you have a relatively new sprinkler or watering hose, you might be able to find out the average flow rate of water that comes out of those, but if you have an older model it could be difficult to know for sure.

One way of finding out is by placing multiple small containers around your yard when running the sprinkler. Something like a tuna can works very well. Then, after 20 minutes, stop watering the lawn and measure the height of the water in those containers. Average out the height, and multiply by 3 to get the average flow rate of your sprinkler system per hour.

Here are our choices for the best sprinklers available online if you are looking to buy a new one.

Watering Different Grass Types

Next, now that you know how long to run your sprinkler or hose for to get a specific amount of water, you have to figure out how much water your specific grass needs to thrive and be healthy. The answer varies, depending on the type of grass you have, and particularly whether it’s cool-season grass or warm-season grass.

If you have a cool-season grass, which are more prevalent in northern and more temperate regions within the United States, this will require more water on average than a warm-season grass. For example, Kentucky Bluegrass, which is a cool-season grass, needs 1.5 – 2 inches of water per week in its growing season and up to .5 inches in its more dormant season.

On the other hand, warm-season grasses like Bermuda Grass are more tolerant to drier and warmer weather, and so they only need 1 – 1.5 inches of water throughout the week when it’s growing, and .25 inches or even less when it’s dormant.

Watering in Different Weather Conditions

Another factor that determines how long and how often to water your lawn is the climate you live in and weather conditions in different seasons. For example, cool-season and warm-season grasses have periods during the year that they are growing rapidly, and other times when they are not growing at all. Rain, drought, heat, and cold are also factors that have to be accounted for.

Growing Seasons

Grass doesn’t grow constantly throughout the year, but rather it grows in spurts. For cool-season grasses, the active growing season is with the cooler temperatures in the spring and fall. Warm-season grasses, on the other hand, grow more actively during the end of the spring and into the early summer, when the summer heat has started to really warm the atmosphere and the soil up.

During growing seasons, a grass could potentially need up to 4 times the amount of water it requires when it is dormant.

Dormant Seasons

The opposite of the growing season is the dormant season, which is where the grass goes dormant and just remains as it is without growing. These grass seasons need a lot less water than growing seasons. For cool-season grasses, this can include the height of summer, and for warm-season grasses it is anytime outside of late spring to early fall.


Almost all grasses are dormant in the winter, meaning they don’t need much watering. If you live in a place that gets below freezing during the winter, you should need to water even less. One reason for watering during the winter is if you want to prevent frost. However, other than that you don’t want to water in the afternoon or evening, because a wet grass at night could be more susceptible to disease.

Rainy and Dry Spells

The amount of rain your lawn gets will have an effect on your watering practices. This is common sense – because the rain waters your lawn, you don’t have to!

Whenever you plan to go out to water your lawn, make sure to check the weather before and see if any rain is scheduled for the day. If it is a significant shower, you won’t have to water for that day. You won’t need to water until your next scheduled time. If it is a short shower or a misting, you might want to run your sprinkler or hose just to get the rest of the watering done.

When you are experiencing a dry patch or a drought, you might want to water your lawn more. This can be the wrong idea, however. Firstly, many grasses go into dormancy during the heat of summer or any dry patches.

Grass is very strong and durable, and it bounces back easily, so you don’t have to overwater it during a drought, and doing so could actually make the grass start to grow again, which is a waste of water and will hurt the grass in the long run if it grows at the wrong time. There are also water restrictions at some times when a drought happens, so you don’t want to have to pay a fine or waste water that other people and resources could use.

Tips for Lawn Watering

Water All At Once

When you do find out how much water your grass needs during specific seasons, you want to water that amount all at once. It is best to do infrequent but deep waterings – perhaps 1.5 inches once a week, or whatever it ends up being – rather than frequent but shallow waterings.

With deep watering, your grass and plants grow deep roots all the way down in the soil, and this helps them to better weather harsh conditions and to stave off drought and disease more easily. There is also less room for weeds to grow.

Best Watering Time

The best time to water your lawn is in the early morning. If you do it too late in the day, the sun will evaporate a lot of the water before it has a chance to soak into the grass and the soil. You also want your lawn to be dry when night comes; if it’s still wet, it can cause fungal diseases or other grass infestations.

In Summary

So, how often should you water your lawn? The answer is not as simple as a one-size-fits-all response. It depends on the climate and weather conditions in your area, the type of grass you have, and even the time of year.

What is not climate or grass dependent is that it’s best to water all at once, if possible. Also, the best time to water your lawn is early morning when it’s not too hot and the sun isn’t yet beating down on your yard.

Make sure to check the weather conditions before watering; if rain is expected in the next day or two, hold off on watering until it does rain. Following these tips should help keep your lawn looking green and healthy all year long! Now that we’ve answered all of your questions about watering your lawn, we hope you are feeling confident enough to get started!

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Written by Linda Chan
Linda Chan is a passionate gardener and writer with a background in horticulture and landscape design. She has over 10 years of experience working in the lawn care industry and has a deep understanding of the science and art of keeping a lawn healthy and beautiful.