When to Stop Watering the Lawn in the Fall

when to stop watering the lawn in fall

For grass that thrives well in cold, fall or autumn is one of the most important parts of the year. Not only is autumn important to it as a growth phase, but also because it paves way for the winter.

However, watering during the fall is something that has quite a lot of people confused. And honestly, I’ve seen a lot of my friends not being certain about what’s the best thing to do.

As a lawn owner, however, I have come up with my strategy- something that actually works out in practice.

[You want to find out about it? Well, keep on reading, then!]

When to stop watering the lawn in fall?

Well, I understand it can be really tempting to actually stop watering your lawn.

As a lawn owner myself, I know how lazy we feel and how eager we are to escape from watering our lawns as soon as possible.

At the same time, we want the best for our plants too. So, if not watering them in fall helps them, that gives you two good reasons to not do it!

However, that is not the case and you should NOT stop watering your lawn in fall.

Why, you ask?

Well, turns out, that for winter grasses, fall is a really important part of the year. At this point of time, the grass actually shows signs of strong growth.

Naturally, lack of water will limit the growth, depriving it of this great phase. Now, that’s something you obviously don’t want as a lawn owner.

So, the smartest move here is to actually continue watering it. You want to keep the ground wet and continue watering as long as the ground doesn’t get frozen. After this point, watering doesn’t really make sense because it won’t go into the ground.

However, until that happens, continuing to water your lawn sounds like the best plan. Quoting TheSpruce,

While it is a good idea to keep the soil under your grass moist right through late fall, it is even more important for Northerners to resist the temptation to stop watering the lawn in early fall. Why? Well, if the type of grass that you have is a cool-season grass, then this period of time, by definition, is a period of strong growth for your lawn. Do not deprive it of irrigation during this critical time. An adequate water supply for grass roots is essential for proper nutrient uptake during growth periods. And if your lawn is not absorbing nutrients sufficiently, it will not achieve optimal health.

See my full grass growing guide here for more helpful tips – no opt-in needed.

Now, beware of overwatering and underwatering your lawn too!

Again, while you now know about the right time to stop watering your lawn in fall (or not) you might still end up overwatering or underwatering it if you’re not careful enough!

However, this isn’t too hard to take care of- you just need to start a little early. You might want to start by taking care of the fact that you do not overwater your grass seed.

The ideal course of action, however, is to know how much water your lawn needs and adjusting accordingly. Quoting Arbor-nomics on how you might be able to do that,

How do you measure the water intake of your lawn you might ask? There are several ways that you can do this:

  • An economical way is by the aluminum soup can method (or any can for that matter). Take the labels off and mark inches on the inside of the can. Place a few of these aluminum cans around your yard and then after a rainstorm or watering, check the measurements to make sure it’s getting the inch it needs.
  • Do the screwdriver method to test soil moisture. Make sure the water has reached at least 6 inches into the soil by sticking an 8-inch screwdriver into the ground. Do this after the first 15 minutes to check your progress. If the screwdriver sinks easily and at the appropriate depth, that means the water has reached its goal of getting to the grass roots.
  • If you want to be absolutely sure of your lawn’s water intake, use a rain gauge. You can tell how much water has actually made it into your lawn via sprinkler or from Mother Nature. You can find these gauges at most lawn and garden centers. Expect to pay around $2 for a standard gauge all the way up to $30-$40 for ornate ones that may match your yard’s décor.

Also, don’t forget to prepare for the winter!

And finally, don’t forget that fall is followed by winter! You might want to remain prepared with your lawn when winter comes knocking!

The most important thing is to keep your overall sprinkler system and hoses safe. Don’t worry, Turf Mechanic has already prepared articles to help you do these!

[So, check out these articles to find out more!]


So, that was a fairly informative article, wasn’t it? Well, we took a look at the main things, including when you might want to stop watering your lawn in the fall, and why.

Naturally, we also took a look at how you might want to gear up for the winter.

So, keep in mind, that as long as you can let your grass grow throughout the fall steadily, it’s going to be strong. The underground growth is as important as the one above ground, and it sees a lot of this at this point. So, don’t forget to keep watering it as long as the soil doesn’t freeze.

Again, we also took a look at how you can find out how much water your lawn needs and how you might prevent overwatering or underwatering your plants.

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So, once again, I hope you liked today’s article, and that you’d check out more of our articles. Here are a few to you to read until we meet again on another awesome new article!