Another hot, sunny day without rain and you forgot to turn on the sprinkler again (sigh). Now, a once lush green lawn looks yellowish brown and makes a horrific crunch sound when you step on it. It’s more like hay than grass. It’s so dry that even the family dog doesn’t want to walk on it. All that time, money and effort during the spring to fertilizer and care for it, but after a few weeks without much rain, it looks like a scorched wasteland. So now what? Should you make a feeble attempt to water it?

According to an article from the online publication Horticulture (, a brown lawn is not necessarily a dead lawn. A large volume of summer sun without water tends to stress out a lawn. When grass goes without an adequate amount of water, it triggers a response to enter into a dormant cycle. It dries out and turns brown as part of the cycle. But don’t wait too long to water it. Long periods of drought will eventually kill grass roots. As soon as you begin to water the lawn, you’ll notice the green color begin to return (some spots sooner than others). For lawns to be effectively watered during the summer, it’s best to set up a watering schedule. Depending on your geographical location and the type of grass, a lawn typically needs around ½ to an inch of water per week to keep it from drying out.

So how long should you run the sprinkler to get that ½ inch? Every sprinkler is different. So, you will need to measure how much water your sprinkle outputs. According to an article on SFGATE, an affiliate of the San Francisco Chronicle, you can easily measure the sprinkler’s spread of water by placing multiple containers such as a bucket or cans around the lawn. Set a timer and turn on the sprinkler. When the containers reach ¼ of an inch, check the time. If the time is 10 minutes, then the sprinkler would need to run for 20 minutes to spread ½ inch of water on the lawn and 40 minutes to spread 1 inch. Depending upon the type of soil and its dryness, an inch of water should penetrate deep enough into the soil to reach the roots. If you’re unsure of your lawn and soil specifics, you can always ask your lawn service provider for maintenance tips and suggestions.

For lawn companies who fertilize or manage client lawns each month, Real Green Systems has a product to help customers with lawn maintenance tips and more. Our Customer Assistant Website is a 24/7 online portal for your lawn customers to have convenient access to features such as seasonal information, account profile, payments, additional services and mush, much more. Companies can even add-on more features to get referrals from satisfied lawn customers, send automated marketing as well as email notifications to remind customers to water their lawn after a service.

Remember, the most important thing you can do to keep a lawn green is to water it. When planning your water schedule, make sure it’s a time that’s convenient and easy to remember. If you can’t find the time or can’t remember to turn the sprinkler on, you may want to consider purchasing an inexpensive irrigation timer. Some of them even have smart technology, which means you can turn the sprinkler on or off with an app from a smartphone when you’re not at home. Whether you’re turning on the water manually or with a timer, just make sure your lawn gets the needed water to grow and thrive.