Plan the perfect garden with our interactive tool →

What Are the Best Times for Watering the Lawn?

grass,lawn image by Greg Pickens from

Properly water your lawn at the appropriate times to keep it healthy and looking attractive. "Good lawn care practices save water and harden turf in preparation for dry periods," according to the University of Missouri Extension. Lawns may require as much as 1-1/2 inches of water a week or more if new during warmer months to remain green. Knowing when to water can make all the difference in how the lawn absorbs water and if it remains healthy.

When Needed

A lawn that needs watering shows signs of dehydration, including bluish-purple colored-grass blades and footprints remaining on the grass for several hours, according to the University of Missouri Extension. A change in color indicates wilt. A hydrated lawn quickly bounces back after being walked on, while a thirsty lawn may remain on the ground for hours before being able to pull itself back up.


Early morning between 6 and 8 a.m., when winds are usually low and before humidity has time to set in, is the best time of the day to water. Avoid watering at night because the grass sits wet all night and may develop lawn diseases. "Many of the fungus diseases that affect grass require water droplets or high humidity to sporulate and infect the plants," according to the New Mexico State University. Watering in the morning gives the grass time to dry throughout the day.

After Seeding or Sodding

New lawns require more water than established lawns. Newly seeded lawns require watering as much as four times every day. Water seedlings to keep them moist but not soaked. Newly sodded lawns require watering one or two times every day until established, when its roots start to penetrate the ground. Water should penetrate both the sod and the top 1 inch of soil underneath the sod piece.

Garden Guides