In some areas, the transition from summer to fall to winter can happen in a very brief time, often it seems summer fades right into the winter in the southeastern United States! This can create some confusion for homeowners as it applies to their lawn’s needs in this transition time.

We all know that our lawns need irrigation in the hot, dry summer months, but what about fall and winter? When should you stop watering?

There is no set date, as turfgrass dormancy is not reliant on a calendar. Here are some guidelines for tapering off or ending your irrigation routine going into colder weather:

  • In areas where temperatures stay over 40o and freezing temperatures never or rarely happen, lawns continue to grow through the winter. If there’s not enough rain to keep your lawn healthy in these areas, you can continue to water through the winter months.
  • If your area experiences some freezing days, but mostly does not have frost, your warm-season grasses will likely enter dormancy. Rain- or snow-fall, even if it is only occasional, should provide enough moisture to sustain warm and cool season grasses.
  • If winter temperatures regularly drop below freezing or remain in the 30s for weeks, your lawn will enter dormancy. No watering necessary!

If you’re in one of the above mentioned climate zones that do not require winter watering, be sure to properly store any hoses and sprinklers in a frost-free area so they’ll be ready for duty in the spring!