It’s fall, y’all: Best ways to water Florida lawns now that summer thunderstorms are gone

ORLANDO, Fla. — Guess what! It’s hard to tell, but it’s actually fall right now in Florida.

As the seasons change – kind of – it’s important to know how to best water your lawn now that the daily afternoon thunderstorms are taking a break.

Though the trees tend to stay evergreen in the state, fall means reduced sunlight, cooler temperatures, and less rainfall.

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When homeowners turn back their clocks for the time change on Nov. 7, you should also turn your irrigation controller to its fall and winter irrigation schedule.

The fall and winter schedule for most systems restricts outside irrigation to one day a week.

In some parts of the state, odd-numbered residential addresses may irrigate on Saturdays; even-numbered residential addresses may irrigate on Sundays; and commercial and non-residential properties may irrigate on Tuesdays.

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In some areas, well water, city water and reclaimed water all fall under the irrigation restrictions.

Officials recommend irrigation to be reduced during the fall and winter because the growth of both plants and grasses slows down, reducing their need for food, which then reduces their need for water.

Watering your yard more than this encourages fungal growth, disturbs the plant’s normal growth cycle causing stress and increasing susceptibility to disease and pests, and leads to increased runoff.

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Don’t turn on the sprinklers unless your lawn tells you it is ready for water.

Leaf blades will be folded in half, color turns a bluish-gray, and footprints stay visible.

Also remember that established trees and shrubs need less water than grass.

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