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Watering Guidelines for Healthy Grass

WATER IS A PRECIOUS RESOURCE.  IT IS VERY IMPORTANT TO WATER WISELY!  You can be "green" and have your grass, too!

Please make sure you choose the variety best suited for you (warm season grasses use less water than cool season grasses), and follow maintenance tips.

Newly planted sod needs to be watered much differently than established lawns. New sod must be watered more frequently for the first three weeks. For established lawns however, only water often enough to avoid wilt between irrigations.

You can download this free publication from the University of California on Managing Turfgrasses During Drought here. 

Newly Planted Sod

Water four times daily in the summer and two times daily in the winter, during daylight hours. Soak the sod enough to keep the top three inches of soil along with the layer of sod constantly wet, but do not allow water to stand for long periods. When rooting has sufficiently developed(about 14 days) to prevent sod from being pulled from the soil, cut watering to once a day during summer and every other day in the winter. After 21 days water 2 to 3 times a week in the summer and every 3 to 10 days in the winter. The table below detail watering frequency and duration for new sod in summer or winter.

Check with your water district.  They are usually allowing more water for new sod for 30 days to establish your lawn.


  • If you have a dry area or a blue-gray area (a sign of water stress), place like-size containers in that area and one in a green area. Water 15-30 minutes, then measure both containers in that area and one in a green area. Water 15-30 minutes, then measure both containers. If the dry area is not getting same amount of water, adjust the sprinkler heads.
  • Use several shallow containers such as tuna cans or margarine containers and space throughout the yard. Water until the containers fill to 1 inch. However long this takes is how long you should water established turfgrass.

Here are some helpful links to give you even more tips on how to be water wise with your lawn.

How to Make Your Existing Lawn Water Wise 

Water Restrictions and Your Lawn--PART 1

Water Restrictions and Your Lawn--PART 2