Watering Turf Grass in Summer
Fred Newcombe

How should you be watering your turf this season? Proper practices for watering turf grass in the summer is paramount. Building resilient turf takes a combination of proper fertility and cultural practices. Accordingly, we recommend watering deep, infrequently, and in the morning.  As a result, you dial in irrigation schedules for optimized deep root watering throughout the season.

For newly seeded areas, and during extreme heat, water more frequently for shorter periods. Over-watering leads to compaction and disease. Therefore, watering up to 3/4” to 1.25” per week will keep your turf grass healthy in the summer heat. Take a look at our watering guide below to gain an understanding of adequate watering times for various irrigation systems.

1-2-3-2-1 Turf Grass Watering Method

chart of guidelines for Watering Turf Grass in Summer

Tuna Can Test

Not sure how much water your turf is getting? Try the tuna can test. Put an empty tuna can around your lawn and note how long it takes for cans to fill with 1-1.5 inches of water. Adjust watering time and frequency according to how much your lawn needs.

Watering Days per Week:

  • 1 Day/Week: Early Spring – Irrigation Start to April 30
  • 2 Days/Week: Early Summer – May 1 to June 21
  • 3 Days/Week: Mid-Summer – June 21 to August 7
  • 2 Days/Week: Late Summer – August 8 to September 21
  • 1 Day/Week: Fall – September 22 to Irrigation Blowout
When to Water

To optimize absorption, a 1:00am start time will generally allow you to complete your watering before 7:00am. No watering should occur between 8:00am and 8:00pm.

Notably, when watering turf grass in the summer, PJC always recommends following local watering guidelines or restrictions. Lastly, if you don’t have an irrigation system, allowing cool season turf grasses to go dormant is best.

In addition, if you’re looking for additional seasonal tips, check our our blogs: Summer Turf Tips Part 1 & Part 2.