Drought Conditions

Summer and Watering Your Lawn

Drought / Watering / Mowing 

How much should I water my lawn? 

  • We recommended watering turf 1” per week during the growing season.  
  • Water your lawn between the hours of 5:00am & 9:00am to allow excess moisture to burn off during the day to help prevent fungus outbreaks (Do not water in the evening). 
  • Use a tuna can and mark the inside of the can at 1” and use a stopwatch to put a length of time on the task.  Once the time is set, you can water one time for that length of time or split it into two times per week to reach the 1”. 
  • We recommend watering for longer periods rather than more frequently. Please keep in mind that watering your lawn in light, frequent intervals can result in shallow and weak root systems. 
  • Adjust your schedule if weather patterns change and rain increases.   


What if grass is showing signs of Heat and Drought Stress? 

  • Seeing a lawn retract in color and density due to heat/drought is a good sign. The lawn is reacting to the condition to protect itself. It is mainly a temporary condition until favorable weather patterns return on warm season turf.  Fescue turf may need reseeding with extreme damage. 
  • When your lawn starts to show signs of heat/drought stress, we recommend implementing the irrigation schedule previously stated and stick to it consistently during these dry periods. 
  • Raise your mowing height by ½” during drought stress on warm season turf like Bermuda, Zoysia, Centipede, & St Augustine to help keep more moisture to the lawn and prevent too much loss.  For fescue turf, raise your mower to the highest setting (usually that is 4”) to help retain the moisture in the lawn.  
  • Leave the clippings on the lawn and don’t bag it, this will also help retain some moisture. 
  • Hot temperatures along with drought conditions impact fescue turf the hardest. A perfect irrigation schedule can sometimes not be enough to withstand extreme heat.  Fescue can go into a dormancy state. This becomes a waiting game until cooler temps and irrigation returns before recovery. 


  • Make sure the blades are sharp and the mower’s deck is not caked with debris.  
  • Mowing often enough means you never want to remove more than 1/3 of the grass blade off each time you mow.  Any more than 1/3 will remove the much-needed water within the plant and can send the lawn into drought stress. 
  • Leave lawn clippings on the grass when you mow the lawn unless they form clumps or rows. Grass cycling returns nutrients and nitrogen to the lawn. Bag your clippings if you are leaving excessive clipping 
  • Mow your grass higher in shaded areas under trees. In these areas, grass competes with tree roots for water and nutrients 

Recommended Mowing Heights (Normal Growing Conditions) 

  • Bermuda 1”-2” (Warm Season) 
  • Zoysia 1.5”-2.5” (Warm Season) 
  • St Augustine 2”-3” (Warm Season) 
  • Centipede 1”-1.5” (Warm Season) 
  • Fescue 3”-4” (Cool Season) 

Your lawn needs to be mowed at the taller height in the heat of the summer.