How to Manage Pests

The UC Guide to Healthy Lawns

Irrigation scheduling

Because there is so much variation among lawns, there is no one single answer for how much water to apply. Turf species, climate, and sprinkler output must be taken into account. Use the irrigation scheduling program to tailor a watering program to your specific conditions.

Schedule your irrigation

See the following publications for more information:

Water deep and infrequently

In general, most lawns require about 1 to 1.5 inches of water per week to keep the root system moist. The root systems of established lawns generally penetrate about 6 to 8 inches into the soil, although some warm-season grass root systems may extend even further. Deep and infrequent watering will help promote a vigorous root system.

If under irrigated, cool-season grasses may become semi-dormant in the hottest part of the summer, returning to full vigor in cooler fall weather. Regular deep watering is necessary to keep the lawn green through the summer. Turfgrass water use rates, and the resulting irrigation need, also vary based on location and time of year.

Factors to consider


In shady areas, use less water than the recommended rates.

Soil type

Clay soils hold water longer than loamy or sandy soils do, but it also takes longer for water to absorb. Turf growing on heavy clay soils should be watered less frequently and at lower rates than on loamy soils. Sandy soils require more frequent irrigations since they dry out quickly.

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Statewide IPM Program, Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California
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