Lawn Watering Guide

The type and slope of the soil, the fertilizer used, the amount of water needed by specific plants and type of turf grass and the efficiency of sprinklers all affect how often one needs to water.

Lawn/Landscape Watering Tips:

  • Water your lawn or landscape early in the morning (before 10 am) or in the evening (after 6 pm) to avoid loosing water to evaporation
  • Set your controller to cycle soak. Our clay soils can only absorb so much water and the rest runs off, wasting water.  Set your irrigation controller to run several cycles so that water can penetrate deep into the root zone.
  • Install and maintain rain and freeze sensors.
  • Inspect your irrigation system monthly to check for leaks, broken or clogged heads or other problems.
  • Add compost to the soil to create a nutrient rich soil that holds moisture and mulch around plants and shrubs to keep soil temperature constant, reduce evaporation and prevent weeds.
  • As seasons change, so should your irrigation schedule.  During the fall, winter and spring, your landscape does not need as much water as it does during summer months. 
  • Outdoor watering can mean higher water bills and can account for up to 60% of your summer water usage. Therefore, it is important to know how much water to apply to your landscape. Because different types of sprinkler heads (spray, rotor, or drip) Weekly watering advice is available through the following online websites:


Applying fertilizer to the lawn at the proper time and in the proper amount can save time, effort and money through reduced mowing and watering. Fertilizers also can be a major source of pollution of streams and groundwater if excessive amounts are applied.

The best way to determine whether your lawn requires additional plant nutrients is to have the soil tested. A soil test report will help you understand which nutrients your soil lacks and which are present in adequate amounts. The test results will include recommendations on the amounts of plant nutrients that would benefit your lawn. Soil tests are easy and inexpensive. Forms and instructions are available through the county extension office or on the Texas A&M Soil Testing Laboratory's website.

To grow properly, all plants need essential nutrients. Those that are typically needed in the greatest amounts are nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. The best fertilizer for your lawn is one that contains the ratio of these three nutrients needed as indicated by your soil test results. All fertilizer packages must list three numbers (such as 15-5-10).

These numbers-known as the fertilizer analysis-represent the percentage by weight of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium in the fertilizer. Most soils in this area already have enough phosphorus and potassium. If the soil test indicates your lawn does not need phosphorus and/or potassium, choose a fertilizer that provides only nitrogen.

Learn more on how to fertilize for warm season grasses

Trees, Shrubs & Groundcover

Established plantings do well in the summer when watered about once a week, especially if mulch is placed around plants. Apply enough water to wet the soil to a depth of at least 12 inches. Using low output sprinkler heads, bubblers, or drip irrigation systems help prevent runoff and are efficient ways to apply water. New plantings require more frequent watering the first two years. Consider Texas native, Water-Wise varieties when purchasing new or replacement plants

For more information:  Outdoor Watering