Lawn Watering Conservation

Lawn Watering Conservation

Over watering lawns wastes water and results in increased water bills.  But it can also create other problems.  Excessive watering increases the risk of fertilizer and pesticide runoff from the lawn to paved surfaces. This could negatively impact local water quality.  And over watered lawns frequently lead to excess blade growth, summer fungal diseases, and more frequent mowing.

Let the resources of Virginia Cooperative Extension help you to better manage your lawn without wasted water.  Below we have provided links to a variety of resources from Virginia Cooperative Extension publications to videos and podcasts.

The first step to reducing water usage is to make sure that you are planting the right type of grass and managing it properly.

Extension publication 426-719 provides information on Selecting Turfgrass.  Virginia Cooperative Extension Turfgrass Specialist Mike Goatley and Head Men’s Golf Coach Jay Hardwick provide tips on how to choose grasses in this short video.

Our turfgrass specialist have provided yearlong Maintenance Calendars for your Warm-season lawn or Cool-season lawn.

Follow these more detailed recommendations for proper Spring and Summer Lawn Management of your Warm-season lawn or Cool-season lawn.

Fall lawn care recommendations for both Warm-season and Cool-season lawns can be found here.

The Henrico office of Virginia Cooperative Extension offers tips on caring for turfgrass, from watering and regular mowing to sharpening a mower blade and reusing grass clippings in this short video.

Next, make sure you are watering your lawn properly.

In this short video, Virginia Tech Head Golf Coach Jay Hardwick and Mark Cote, director of golf maintenance at the Pete Dye River Course of Virginia Tech, offer helpful hints on watering your lawn.

A healthy lawn needs about 1 inch of water per week during the growing season. The Henrico office of Virginia Cooperative Extension explains how to set your irrigation system to provide the precise amount of water your lawn needs to thrive in this video.

Part of making sure you manage your turfgrass properly is to make sure that it is fertilized properly.

VCE Publication CSES-135P provides the basic information on Lawn Fertilization in Virginia.

And before you apply any fertilizer or lime to your lawn, you should always perform a soil test.  Make sure you allow yourself at least 4-6 weeks to get the results of your soil test back.  So early to mid July would be a great time to soil test to have the results for fall fertilization of cool-season turfgrass.

This VCE publication provides information about Soil Sampling for the Home Gardener .  Henrico County residents can pick up soil test kits at any county library or at the extension office.

Need more help on how to perform a soil sample? This video from the Henrico Extension office explains how to collect soil samples before sending them away for testing.

After you get your soil test results, which will reveal the nutritional needs of your property and provide everything you’ll need to know to create a healthy lawn and landscape. This video from the Henrico office of Virginia Cooperative Extension explains how to make sense of your soil test results.

And lastly, don’t forget about the rest of your landscape.

In this Virginia Cooperative Extension Publication learn about Water-wise landscape design and management techniques that focus on working with nature and natural forces (such as rainfall) to create an aesthetically pleasing, livable landscape, while using less water from the local supply.

For more information on Turfgrass care, including our SMART Lawns booklet, visit

Have any lawn or gardening questions?  Call the Henrico Master Gardeners from April to October to get the best research-based recommendations.  Or you can submit your question electronically (including sending pictures) by submitting it here.

Contact Us

Extension Office

Physical Address
8600 Dixon Powers Dr.
Henrico Government Complex
Human Services Building
Henrico, VA 23228

(804) 501-5160

(804) 501-5169

Mailing Address
P. O. Box 90775
Henrico, VA 23273-0775


Office hours:
8:00 a.m.- 4:30 p.m. EST,
Monday through Friday

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