6 Tips for Watering Your Lawn in Charlotte

lawn sprinkler

If you want to reign as the king or queen of your neighborhood in and around the Queen City, you’ve got to take good care of your lawn. And that means you need to give the royal treatment to your lawn when it comes to watering.

Here are six tips for watering your lawn in the Charlotte, NC, area so that it’s fit for a king or queen.

1. Follow the Rules.

In Charlotte, homeowners are urged to — but not required to — water their lawns only on Tuesdays and Saturdays. The water regulations in your town may be different. For instance, a city ordinance in the suburb of Cary requires homeowners to follow a year-round, three-day-a-week watering schedule.

2. Check the Time.

In Charlotte, the water utility suggests watering your lawn between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m. Meanwhile, Cary recommends watering early in the morning or late in the evening to avoid losing up to 50 percent of the water to daytime evaporation. Lawn care experts caution, however, that overnight watering can leave your grass susceptible to diseases.

3. Adhere to the 1-Inch Guideline.

Lawn care and water experts say you typically should limit watering to as much as 1 inch of water per week, including rainfall. Officials in Cary point out that overwatering causes three-fourths of turf problems.

To figure out how much water adds up to 1 inch, do the “tuna can” test. Randomly place three or four rain gauges, tuna cans or similar containers in each of your lawn’s watering zones, NC Cooperative Extension says, and run your irrigation system for a typical cycle. The amount of water collected at the end of the irrigation cycle — 30 minutes, for example — will tell you whether your lawn is getting too much or not enough water and will enable you to make needed adjustments.

4. Get to the Root of It.

Charlotte Water recommends watering your lawn to a soil depth of 6 to 8 inches to encourage the growth of grass roots. The Center for Turfgrass Environmental Research and Education at North Carolina State University puts the range at 4 to 6 inches. To measure how much water the soil has soaked up, pierce the turf with a screwdriver or similar tool.

5. Be Well Equipped.

You’ve got to make sure you have the proper equipment and it’s working the way it’s supposed to. Here are a few things you should cover:

  • Test the sprinkler heads to ensure they’re operating correctly.
  • Fix any leaks, drips and broken equipment that you come across.
  • To prevent water waste, make sure your sprinklers are pointed away from your driveway and sidewalks.
  • Install a sensor to stop irrigation when it’s raining.

6. Consider Different Grass.

Roughly 90 percent of the grass in the Charlotte area is tall fescue. However, tall fescue needs more water than warm-season grasses such as zoysia or bermuda, which go dormant during the winter. Look into replacing your tall fescue with grass that depends less on water.

Need lawn care in Charlotte? Visit our Charlotte lawn care page,  Or choose your city from the list below:


Photo: Flickr/Robert S. Donovan


John Egan

John Egan is the former editor in chief of LawnStarter.com. Now, he is a freelance writer extraordinaire. He lives in Austin, Texas.