Fall Back on Lawn Watering

For many of us, fall is the best time of the year. It arrives with cooler temperatures and the end to daylight saving time. It also marks the beginning of dormancy for plants and lawns and, more importantly, the end of regular landscape watering.

With cooler weather and (hopefully) increased precipitation, plants and especially lawns become susceptible to disease. Additional moisture late in the day or early morning will increase the likelihood of fungi. You can help prevent this by significantly reducing the run times on your irrigation system. In other words, fall back just like when we change our time clocks. Or better yet, just turn it off. Most of our grasses go dormant to semi-dormant.

Additionally, many plants become dormant and need very little water. With no photosynthesis occurring, there is no need for water. Any water added is simply a waste.

Excessive water also prevents oxygen in the soil. Roots require oxygen to survive and grow — which they do in fall and winter, albeit at a slower rate — so any excess water will suffocate the roots. More roots equal strong healthy plants that can survive the hot, dry summers.

Need help with your irrigation system controller? SAWS conservation consultants provide year-round, water-wise advice for your home, landscape and sprinkler system. Call us at 210-704-SAVE (7283) to make an appointment.

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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