Should you stop watering in late summer?

whatisrice(North Texas)June 5, 2011

Hi,

Okay, so everyone knows that you don't water in the winter because the grass is dormant, right? What about late summer. In Texas it gets hot. Real hot. The grass more less bakes to a golden brown in 95+ and 100+ degree weather.

My question is, is there a point in the summer where you give in and save your water bill? When it's 105+ for 25 days straight, is there anything I can seriously do to save my grass? Is it part of the natural process to let it go ahead and die in late summer and wait for spring again; or should I fight until fall?

Thanks!

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mistascott(7A VA)

Is it a cool season grass or a warm season grass?

It is normal for a cool season grass to go dormant in summer and winter. It will usually pull through just fine, provided you've established a deep root system.

Shallow watering is where people often get into trouble as the grass develops shallow roots and becomes less drought resistant.

I'd save your money, but if you want to keep it from entering dormancy, give it a severe soaking once a week (30 minutes or 1 inch of water) in the early AM.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2011 at 1:42AM
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lou_midlothian_tx(z8 DFW, Tx)

Deep watering every 2 weeks will give you a decent lawn if you are not getting enough rain. Once a month to maybe keep them alive but that's pushing it.

Deep watering means one inch of water meaning around 600 gallons of water per 1000 sqft. That is probably number one reason people did not do right when it comes to watering. They do not realize the amount of water or how long it takes to put out that much water to saturate 6-8 inches deep.

You did not mention which grass. St augustine and bermuda requre different mowing maintenance. St Augustine do best at 3 inches of mowing while bermuda do best at 1-1.5 inches. Other than that, not much difference as far as watering practice is concerned. A main key difference is that bermuda goes dormant if not getting enough water while st augustine just go dead (when color turns light brown)and won't come back.

I'd place trees as number one to look after during severe dry spell. You'd still have to give them a deep watering using something like soaker hose for a very deep watering (2 inches) once a month. Grass end up benefiting from it anyway.

mistascott, no cool weather grass can survive central Texas summer. They can be used as winter grass but that's it.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2011 at 7:19AM
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dchall_san_antonio(8 San Antonio)

My former next door neighbor did not water her St Augustine for the 5 years she lived there. The reason her grass survived was that she never mowed either.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2011 at 12:34AM
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neilaz(9a)

Not sure i understand. If the grass goes dormant in the winter and you don't want to water in the summer(grass stays dormant) then what is the purpose to having grass?

    Bookmark   June 11, 2011 at 11:36AM
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bpgreen(5UT)

"Not sure i understand. If the grass goes dormant in the winter and you don't want to water in the summer(grass stays dormant) then what is the purpose to having grass?"

Spring and fall.

Also, cool season grasses don't necessarily have to go dormant during winter. If they're properly cared for, they'll stay green all winter. If you water when it's dry, they'll stay green in the summer, also. Around here, it's rare for a lawn to go dormant during summer, even though we only get about 2 inches of total rain from June through August. But everybody has irrigation systems and water is cheap enough that people water enough to keep the grass green no matter how hot and dry it gets.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2011 at 11:57PM
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