Fairway Green, Inc
9 Ilene Ct, Suite 14 Hillsborough, NJ 08844
Phone: (908) 281-7888

Sprinkler Setup Throughout the Difference Seasons

Watering the Plants

Let’s imagine you just had a new underground irrigation system installed on your property and the technician sets up your watering schedule. Now all you need to do is sit back and enjoy that nice green lawn all year long. Unfortunately, it’s not that easy!

Having one watering schedule set for your whole lawn throughout the different seasons will not provide the desired results. What does that mean? The amount of water your turf needs is based on multiple environmental conditions.  Some questions to ask are, do you have areas that stay wet or retain water? Do you have areas that are shaded and do not need as much water? Do parts of your lawn stay in full sun? All these areas will need different watering times and frequencies. Another important factor is the weather. If it rained recently, there may be no need to water if the rainfall provided adequate soil moisture. Finally, watering requirements change from season to season. Below we will describe setting up your sprinklers throughout the different seasons.

When to Start

In the central New Jersey area, you will more than likely need to start irrigating around late spring, depending on the temperatures and rainfall received. Some years we receive a lot of rainfall in the spring, while other years become hot and dry before the summer months. It’s important to start watering before the lawn looks stressed so if temperatures start to warm up quickly, you should turn your irrigation on earlier than normal.

How Often Should You Water

Once your sprinkler system has been turned on, the next step is to determine how frequently the system should be run. This is dependent on the weather and environmental conditions on your property, but we will try to provide some general guidelines to start.  A good rule of thumb is to water deep and infrequently. We want the water to get down deep into the soil, to the plant’s root zone. Roots can reach lengths of 6-8 inches in depth. To accomplish this with an irrigation system a good place to start would be 45-60 minutes per zone once a week from 12am-6am. Watering every day, or every other day is not needed! In fact, watering too often will have adverse effects on the health of your grass. Additionally, if you have areas of your property that hold water, or remain wet for too long, you can cut the running time back to 30 or 45 minutes per zone in those sections.

If you don’t have an irrigation system, that’s ok! You can still water your lawn at the proper time. I know you probably saw the 12am to 6am and thought I hope this guy doesn’t think I’m getting up all night just to water my lawn! Don’t worry you don’t need to. There are automated timers that you can purchase from home improvement stores. I recommend running a hose-end sprinkler for at least 2 hours per area to start and 1 hour in sections that remain wet or hold water. For both sprinkler systems and hose end sprinklers, you need to walk the property after irrigating and adjust, as necessary. In areas that are still very dry, you can add time in 30-minute increments. In sections that are very wet and holding water, cut your watering time.

As temperatures start to increase and rainfall tends to be less frequent, you will need to add another day to the watering schedule. It is important to space out the watering days as much as possible so the surface of the soil can dry out in between watering cycles. Watering too frequently will create issues with the turf such as disease. At the hottest parts of the summer, you will need to water every third or fourth day to keep your turf green. If you are watering every fourth day and it still looks like your lawn is drought stressed, add more time to each watering cycle. It’s better to add more time on the days you are watering than to add more days on your schedule, especially in the summer when disease is prevalent.  Finally, if you’re not sure if your lawn is drought stressed or has disease, call your lawn care company to diagnose the issue. You do not want to add more water to a diseased lawn, this will help the disease thrive and spread!

When watering in the summer, we recommend continuing to water between 12am and 6am like we suggested in the springtime. For more information as to why this is the best time to water your lawn, check out our blog.

As we get into the fall and temperatures start to cool, we recommend you continue to water; however, it is important to be aware of how much rainfall we are receiving. Some years irrigation will need to continue twice a week, while other years with more rainfall you could go down to once a week. It is all dependent on the current conditions. Once the temperatures have cooled down, this typically is around the end of October, you should be able to have your irrigation systems winterized for the remainder of the year.

Below is a seasonal chart to help you with the initial set up of your underground irrigation system.  Please remember, this is a general guideline and your specific property could vary greatly depending on the layout, environmental conditions, and the weather.


Whether you just had an irrigation system installed on your property, or it has been there for years, at the beginning of each season it is important not to “set it and forget it.”  We recommend setting your irrigation schedule accordingly based on your property’s needs and the weather.  If you have questions about your watering schedule, please give our office a call at 908-281-7888, or request a free estimate online.

9 Ilene Ct, Suite 14, Hillsborough, NJ 08844 United States | (908) 281-7888
Phone: (908) 281-7888 Fairway Green Inc.