Can my lawn really go 12 days without water in Southern California?

I’m trying to use the flex schedule. We had a bit of rain a few weeks back and the system turned off as it should. It did not turn on for a few days and my lawn was pretty dry. I reset the moisture levels and the lawn was watered on 12/2. Now it is telling me that it will not water again until 12/14 and 12/17.

Can a lawn in SoCal really go 12-15 days without water? I’m used to watering the lawn daily.

Hey @adamkos!
So one thing with flex is it is a change in the way you water. It waters longer and less often, while most people are used to watering short durations more often. This makes for a healthier, more drought resistant lawn. However, all of this is based upon your zone settings, so it’s important to make sure those are tuned into your lawn! If you want to post what you have for your zone settings here, this forum can be incredibly helpful in getting those settings correct.
McKynzee :rachio:

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I also live in Southern California, specifically in a desert area of the Inland Empire, and I have a mix of fescue and bluegrass. Recently my lawn went 15 days without being watered by my sprinklers (Nov 17 - Dec 2) and it handled it with no problem. Now during that time we did have a couple days of rain and very cool temperatures thereafter.

The only time my grass is ever watered everyday is for 2-3 months during the summer. During this time of year (fall/winter) my grass might get watered once a week. Some things to keep in mind is that with the cooler temps at night you tend to get much more morning dew (which helps to keep the grass watered), grass tends to go dormant so it’s not actively growing and sucking up as much water, and if there are some cloudy and cool days, then your lawn is likely not losing much moisture to evaporation.

As you go about your daily activities, just take a look at your lawn, and if it looks like it’s starting to brown, then run a manual schedule. Of course I don’t know what type of grass you have, but in my experience, lawns are pretty resilient.

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Hi mckynzee,

Here is my backyard lawn setting:

I have one of those $10 water sensors that you stick in the ground and check the dampness. My lawn is still half wet after a week of no water. I am not sure what type of grass I have, but I have soil with a lot of clay.

Have you confirmed this ? I thought the same here in Arizona until I researched it a bit. The whole soil type thing can be pretty confusing. Anyhow, here’s a link that might help, assuming that you haven’t already seen it or something similar.

@adamkos So I did the web soil survey at your location, and it said you actually have loam in your area for soil type! So I would start by changing that. I also looked into possible grass types based on your location using this tool: The top grasses in you area are actually cool season grasses!

Thanks! I really appreciate it. I changed it to warm weather and loam. It cut 2 days off the watering schedule. I will keep and eye on it and see how much water is used.

@adamkos No problem at all. Let me know if it seems to work better for your lawn, if not there are some more steps we can take!

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@adamkos So for grass, do you overseed in the winter? Or is the grass you have in the summer the same grass you have in the wnter? If so, does your grass normally go brown in the winter (aka dormant)?

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If you are growing bermudagrass, it will go off color or be semi dormant this time of the year. It is a very drought tolerant grass. ET is low this time of year in southern Cal. I have confidence fescue or bluegrass would make it too.

I read where utilities have paid out $350 million in southern Californua for people to remove turfgrass.
There will be unintended consequences down the road. Bermudagrass can handle drought. The result will be heat domes and mudslides.


That’s if the majority of the landscape is gravel and such, which is common now with these lawn conversions. I hope they revise the rebate eligibility standards and require majority drought tolerant plants, shrubs and limit the use of gravel and encourage the use of a decorative bark mulches if a ground covering is needed. These xeriscapes can be really tastefully done and mitigate heat island effect and mudslides better than a plain grass lawn.

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@adamkos, just curious can you share a link to one of these sensors?

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Hi Emil,

I just use one of these to see how wet the soil is:


Thanks @adamkos!

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