The Impact of Proper and Improper Watering on TurfGrass Health

Don’t Jump the Gun

With the approach of spring comes the approach of lawn care season! I want to take this opportunity to put forth advice on one of the seemingly simple tasks that is so often over or under-done by mistake. Manually watering the lawn only becomes necessary when nature is no longer providing the 1-1.15 inches of water per week that Tall Fescue needs to thrive. In a typical year in Zone 6, there is no need to begin supplemental watering until mid to late June.


The best time of day to water during the heat of summer is early morning. This ranges from 3:00am-7:00am. We do not recommend watering later than 7:00am if at all possible, since much of your water will be evaporated by the sun prior to being absorbed into the soil. Watering throughout the day and in the afternoon heat will yield little to no results for the same reason.

When choosing your watering schedule make sure to mimic natural rainfall. Natural rain does not occur for 20 minutes every morning. To promote deep root growth we recommend watering 1-2 hours per area, 2-3 times per week depending on the severity of the heat or drought conditions. Try to deliver a full inch of water per week for optimal results.

The Biggest “Don’t Do”

Please refrain from any night time or evening watering. Wet grass overnight promotes fungal disease, which is expensive to treat and spreads quickly. A good way to test if you are over watering or watering too late in the day is to walk the lawn after dinner time. If the lawn is still wet at this time your schedule needs to be adjusted.

Scheduling Around an Application

When adjusting your watering routine due to a scheduled application it is important to know which method of application will be used. We send details about the visit in your notice email including whether the application will be granular or liquid.

When a granular application is scheduled, set your sprinkler to water 24-48 hours AFTER the treatment to activate the fertilizer. For a liquid application refrain from watering for 48 hours before AND 48 hours after the treatment for optimal results.

In Conclusion

Watering the lawn can be very beneficial when done correctly and at the appropriate times. I encourage you to contact us for any questions or concerns about your watering schedule!

Joseph Sheard – TurfGrass Experts
(513)265-6703 –