When Should I Water?

When Should I Water

Time of the Day

Evaporation loss can be 60 percent or higher during the day, so watering must be done during your scheduled irrigation time which will be before 10am or after 4pm on your scheduled day. Irrigation schedules vary by district and are listed here.

Day of the Week

It is important to remember not to irrigate just because it is your scheduled day. Irrigation systems should only be operated when the lawn begins to show signs of stress. This will encourage deeper root growth, which will help to develop more drought tolerant lawns and landscaping. It will also save water, which protects our water resources and provides savings on water bills. Signs of stress include:

  • lingering footprints or mower tracks
  • grass blades or leaf blades beginning to close lengthwise
  • the top few inches of soil feeling dry

Lawns will generally need water before landscape plants (excluding flowers). Therefore if the lawn is being irrigated when it shows signs of stress, the landscape plants will be adequately irrigated.


Flower beds should be hand watered with a hose using an automatic shut off nozzle. Also, if the lawn has dry spots, use a hose with an automatic shutoff nozzle to apply water where it’s needed, instead of watering the entire lawn.

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