Plant and Lawn Watering Tips

Watering Tips

Image Watering Tips

If your plants are showing stress, check the soil’s moisture.

  • If the soil is too wet, your plants are being over watered. The solution is to not water on your next watering day.  This allows the soil to dry out.  You can also try watering for a shorter period of time.
  • If the soil is dry, check all sprinkler heads to make sure they are working properly. If all heads are working properly, increase your watering in this zone.

Make sure you flush the drip irrigation lines and filters every time you change your irrigation schedule.


All plant watering done by hand, via rain barrel water, hand-held hose with a shut-off valve, or a micro-irrigation system may water early morning or late afternoon when necessary.


If your irrigation clock has a “skip day mode", water on the one day per week allowed according to your house number.  Check the current watering restrictions schedule to determine your assigned watering day.

Lawn Watering Tips

  • Some lawns require more water depending upon the type of grass being used. Removing one minute from the watering time will change the amount of water you use by 25 percent.
  • Florida grasses such as St. Augustine and Bermuda use less water. Bermuda uses one-third less water.
  • Don’t water when it is windy or raining.
  • Make sure you water your lawn on a separate schedule from your trees, plants and shrubs.
  • Schedule watering times at least one hour apart. Use the "cycle and soak" method for watering.
  • Set your timer to skip day mode, water lawn seven to 10 days apart. This will allow your lawn to grow deeper roots.
  • If your irrigation system is older, install a rain sensor.  You may be eligible for a rebate.
  • Upgrade your landscape to Florida Friendly Landscape (possible eligibility for rebate). Visit Manatee County Extension Service at 1303 17th St. W. Palmetto, FL 34221 for landscaping ideas and a tour of the sample garden. They are open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. until 5 p.m.

Cycle and Soak Interaction

The cycle and soak method of irrigation should be used due to the inability of water to soak quickly or deeply into our sandy soil.


If you water your lawn three times for five minutes each time, your lawn will absorb more water than running sprinklers for 15 continuous minutes.


Watering in increments of five minutes allows the sandy soil time to soak up the water. When the water is absorbed by the first watering, you can water again in about an hour. This type of irrigation allows more water to travel deeper, creating a healthier lawn.


For more information check out the current Watering Schedule or call the Water Conservation Program at 941-792-8811 ext. 5327 for more water and money saving advice.