When to Stop Watering Your Lawn in the Fall

The intensity of the heat and the sun's rays that are present during the summer months can wreak havoc on outdoor plants—but with consistent watering practices, it is easy to maintain a lush green lawn throughout the growing season. Once fall arrives, however, it is time to change the way you care for your grass to prepare it for the cooler weather ahead; here's how.

Fallen leaves collecting in grass

When to Stop Watering Your Lawn

If you live in an area that has four distinct seasons, autumn is a time when temperatures begin to drop, the days become shorter, and the growth of your grass begins to slow down. With less heat and sunshine to help speed up the evaporation process your lawn needs less to drink, but that doesn't mean that you should stop watering altogether or abruptly.

As conditions can vary across the country, follow these general rules for when to stop watering plants in fall weather:

  • Continue to provide supplemental moisture as needed until the ground is frozen.
  • If your area receives one inch or more of precipitation per week you don't need to water.
  • Fungal diseases may take hold if your lawn is overwatered.
  • During times when the weather is warm and dry, continue to water a few times a week.
  • In the case of a new lawn or one that has been overseeded, maintain regular watering practices to establish roots and promote growth.

Regardless of which type of irrigation system you choose, making a few simple adjustments to your watering schedule each fall will give your wallet a rest, while preparing your lawn for the winter months ahead.

Fall Lawn Care Tips

The steps that you take in the fall can help to keep your lawn beautiful throughout the cooler weather and help it to come back stronger and healthier next spring.


Growth begins to slow down as the cooler temperatures set in and your lawn starts to prepare itself for dormancy throughout the winter. While it's important to continue mowing your lawn during this time you will need to make a few adjustments:

  • Gradually lower the height of the mower until you reach a length between one and a half to two inches.
  • Continue to mow if your grass continues growing.


Cool-season grass will benefit from the application of fertilizer each fall, as the nutrients provided help to ensure vigorous growth in the spring. Use a slow release granular fertilizer, and water the area well unless rainfall is imminent.


Once the leaves and snow begin to fall, it can be difficult to eradicate future spring weeds. Begin tackling unwanted spring weeds early in the fall, when cooler temperatures and slow-growth provide the ideal environment for them to take over your lawn.


Eliminate bare patches, deter the growth of weeds, and establish new growth each spring by spreading seeds across your lawn each fall. Follow the package directions and apply at the recommended rate prior to the first snowfall.


When the soil in your lawn becomes tightly compacted, air, water, and nutrients are unable to penetrate it. Call the experts at The Grounds Guys® to schedule fall lawn aeration to promote healthy growth through each season.


Whether you prefer to pull out the rake yourself, call in the professionals for fall clean-up, or use a mulching mower, removing the leaves from your landscape is a vital part of fall lawn care. As soon as they fall from the tree leaves begin to decompose, which can cause dead spots in your lawn, provide a home for damaging pests, and promote the growth of weeds.

Need help with your lawn maintenance or landscaping projects? Contact The Grounds Guys near you!

Did you know? The Grounds Guys is a Neighborly brand. Discover an entire network of professionals to assist with any of your home service needs at Neighborly.com.

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