How to Use SAWS Watering Advice

You can get the current watering advice delivered directly to your email box by signing up for the weekly GardenStyleSA eNewsletter and check the advice anytime at You will find up-to-date watering advice for the San Antonio region. We have watering recommendations for beds and lawns in the sun or shade.


The combined lawns recommendation is for warm season grasses. We don’t recommend cool season grass here in Texas, nor are they typically used.

All warm season grasses are combined because research has demonstrated that St. Augustinezoysia and Bermuda grass pretty much require the same amount of water, assuming adequate soil is present. The big difference is the water requirement for lawns in sun vs. shaded areas. If you happen to have buffalo grass, just water it like you would your beds, that is to say, conservatively.

Landscape Beds

Beds, which we assume here are planted with perennials, are treated much the same way. But beds need significantly less water than lawns, sometimes two to three times less.

How to Use the Watering Advice

The watering advice is expressed in inches applied to the landscape. Depending how you water — by hand, with a hose-end sprinkler or in-ground irrigation system — will determine how long you water. Don’t stress about applying exactly 1 inch or ½ inch. Instead, use the advice as a guideline.

The most efficient way to water is with a hand-held hose. This is particularly true for beds where you can apply water directly to the roots. In-ground irrigation systems generally use the most water. Our analysis shows that homes with irrigation systems use on average 53 percent more water than homes without one. If you have an irrigation system you’ll want to carefully monitor your watering schedule both for your plants and pocketbook. SAWS customers can schedule a free irrigation consultation to get the most benefit (and least water waste) from your system.

As always, we use local weather data and proven scientific formulas to calculate watering recommendations, but our goal is to help you manage your landscape better. So before you water, check for up-to-date watering advice. Your landscape and pocketbook will thank you.

Picture of Mark Peterson
Mark Peterson
Mark A. Peterson was a conservation project coordinator for San Antonio Water System before retiring. With over 30 years of experience as an urban forester and arborist, Mark is probably the only person you know who actually prunes trees for fun. When not expounding on the benefits of trees and limited lawns, you're likely to find him hiking San Antonio's wilderness parks or expounding on the virtues of geography and history to his friends.
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