Watch the Weather, Wait to Water

The Southwest Florida Water Management District (District) is encouraging residents who irrigate their lawns to take advantage of the summer rainy season and “watch the weather, wait to water.”

During the summer months of July, August and September, yards need no more than ½ to ¾ inch of water every two to three days. If your lawn has received enough water from rainfall, turn off the irrigation system and turn it back on when needed.

The simplest way to determine if your yard needs water is to look for these visual clues:

  • Grass blades are folded in half lengthwise on at least one-third of your yard.
  • Grass blades appear blue-gray.
  • Grass blades do not spring back, leaving footprints on the lawn for several minutes after walking on it.

Follow these tips when you “watch the weather, wait to water”:

  • If your yard is showing signs that it needs water, check your local forecast to see if rain is on the way.
  • Use a rain gauge to determine how much rain your yard has received.
  • If you have a rain sensor, make sure that it is working properly.
  • Take full advantage of the rain. Make sure gutter downspouts are directed into landscaped areas or lawn.
  • Install a rain barrel to capture excess rainwater.

The District is currently under a Modified Phase I Water Shortage through Sept. 1, 2024, which prohibits “wasteful and unnecessary” water use and limits outdoor irrigation to one-day-per week in Hillsborough, Pasco and Pinellas counties. Twice-per-week lawn watering schedules remain in effect except where stricter measures have been imposed by local governments in the remainder of the District’s boundaries, which includes Citrus, DeSoto, Hardee, Hernando, Manatee, Polk, Sarasota and Sumter counties; portions of Charlotte, Highlands and Lake counties; the City of Dunnellon and The Villages in Marion County; and the portion of Gasparilla Island in Lee County.

For additional information, visit WaterMatters.org/WatchTheWeather.

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