A Comprehensive Guide to Watering Austin, TX Lawns

Austin, Texas is home to some hot and humid summers. There is always a chance for drought in this region and so its residents need a solid foundation of watering methods to continue to conserve as much water as possible. Below we have compiled a guide to watering the lawn specific to the region of Austin.

When should I water my lawn?

During peak growth season (spring – summer) watering grass becomes the most important part of lawn care. The optimum time to water a lawn will always be in the morning between the hours of 6 and 10 in the spring. Adjust the time frame to the time the sun rises to ensure watering habits are consistent throughout the year.

Watering the lawn in the evening can cause excess water to accumulate on top of the lawn because the sun isn’t working to evaporate the leftover water. This could lead to diseases, buildup of thatch and suffocation of the grass. On the other side of that, watering in the middle of the day may not allow the water to soak into the roots because of the high evaporation rate at peak sunlight hours.

How often should I water my lawn in Austin, TX?

Austin, TX city restrictions on water usage often limit watering use to about two days a week. Luckily, this is about how often grass needs water. It’s best to water less often with more water to encourage a deep root system. Experts recommend 1 inch of water a week for peak growth periods.

Over watering can lead to shallow roots that rely heavily on extra care. Conditioning grass to soak as much water up as possible will allow the lawn to efficiently soak and store as much water as possible.

What are the three primary residential irrigation systems?

Irrigation systems are often geared towards conserving water. These systems will work on a timer and are set up so they water the whole lawn. Manual watering can take up a good amount of time while still not completely ensuring that the whole water received the right amount of water. Here’s a small guide to the most popular irrigation systems for residential areas.

1. Drip irrigation

A drip irrigation system conserves the most amount of water by distributing water directly to the root system and minimizing evaporation. Drip irrigation is prone to damage by external pressure and will need to be kept up with more than the other irrigation systems. However, its’ conservatory nature makes it a very good choice.

2. Spray Systems

Spray systems cover a wide range of the lawn, making it a very popular form of irrigation. These systems should be expertly placed to avoid administering water to places outside of the lawn. While they are vulnerable to weather and other forces, they do hold up to most of the weather that Austin has to offer.

3. Rotor Systems

Rotor systems are a specific type of spray system that uses a revolving head to administer water throughout the lawn. Instead of a fixed head, these allow for a wider range of the lawn to be showered.

How much water does your grass need? (It depends on the type of grass.)

The above is mostly general information that pertains to most lawns in Austin. Each grass has unique attributes that can make generalizations of a certain area hard to make. Make a note that these water requirements include rainwater. Tracking the amount of rain each week will make sure that you are not wasting water.

Here are some popular grass types in Austin, TX and their recommended water regime.

St. Augustine

St. Augustine grass is a very popular southern grass. It has a moderate drought tolerance that allows it to keep its color better than competitors.

Recommended water amount for St. Augustine gras: It is recommended that St. Augustine lawns receive 1 inch of water per week.

Buffalo Grass

Buffalo grass is a Texas native so it is accustomed especially to the climate of the state. These grasses are drought tolerant however will not remain the pretty blue green color throughout the summer without proper irrigation.

Recommended water amount for Buffalo grass: This grass is recommended to receive 1 inch of water each week.

Bermuda Grass

Bermuda grass is most sensitive to cold weather so it does very well in spring and summer seasons. The grass has a fast growth rate so it requires high maintenance.

Recommended water amount for Bermuda grass: Bermuda grass thrives with 1 to 1.5 inches of water each week.

Zoysia Grass

Zoysia, like the other grasses listed above, is a warm-season grass that stands up to drought and foot traffic.

Recommended water amount for Zoysia grass: Heavy infrequent watering is recommended for this grass type and is required to have 1 inch of water per week.

A Summary of the 2019 Austin, TX Lawn Watering Restrictions

Lawn watering restrictions updated for Spring 2019 via austintexas.gov:

Residential homes are required to only water two days per week during midnight to 10 a.m and/ or 7 p.m. to midnight. We recommend the 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. time slot for efficient watering. For an automatic irrigation system, Austin allows one day per week between the hours of midnight to 10 a.m. and/or 7 p.m. to midnight. A second day of watering is allowed with a manual hose in the same allotted hours.

Here is a list taken from austintexas.gov outlining other watering restrictions:

  • Wasting water is prohibited
  • Washing vehicles at home is permitted with an auto shut-off hose or bucket
  • Charity car washes may only be held at a commercial car wash
  • Fountains must recirculate water
  • Restaurants may not serve water unless requested by a customer
  • Patio misters at commercial properties (including restaurants and bars) may only operate between 4 p.m. and midnight
  • Commercial power/pressure washing equipment must meet efficiency requirements

For information regarding suburbs near Austin Texas here is a more detailed list.

Looking for more lawn care advice? Visit our Austin, TX lawn care page for more tips and info!

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Written by Jackie Greene

Jackie Greene is a blogger, gardener, and nutrition enthusiast. She enjoys creating organic meals for family and friends using the fresh ingredients she produces from her backyard homestead.

About Wikilawn

Wikilawn’s mission is to provide the best resources and information to help you enjoy your outdoor spaces the way you want. Whether you are a DIY, lawn-loving, gardening guru, or someone who wants help in picking a local lawn care professional, we can smooth your path to a beautiful backyard!

About Wikilawn

Wikilawn’s mission is to provide the best resources and information to help you enjoy your outdoor spaces the way you want. Whether you are a DIY, lawn-loving, gardening guru, or someone who wants help in picking a local lawn care professional, we can smooth your path to a beautiful backyard!

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