When to water in hot conditions

I live in DFW and it has been 98+ degrees the last couple of weeks. I am allowed to water twice a week. Currently I am watering 24 min per zone (2x 12min using the cycle and soak feature) from 3 am to 6am.

The grass in my backyard looks fine (gets sun in the morning), but the grass in the front is starting to look brown (gets sun all afternoon), so I’d like to water the front yard more.

Would you recommend I water the front yard again in the late evening for another 12 min, or should I start watering earlier in the night and do 36 min in total? From what I understand watering in the evening can lead to fungus and other diseases, but is there a big difference between watering again at 11pm or starting to water earlier at around 2 am?


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I’m in the Austin area, we’ve got two day a week restrictions as well. However, I’m ignoring it… my logic; sure, I’m watering on days that I am not supposed to but I am using almost half the water (per week) than I was before Rachio. I’d make the case (with water bill in hand) to the city if they say something about a zone running on a even day. I was emailing with a water conservation guy from the LCRA about it. They’re actually cutting me a check for $125 to offset the cost of the Rachio 3.

As for watering times; I have St. Aug. and am worried about fungus as well. I just added a suggestion to have start times calculated back from the end time (sunrise) vs. running just after midnight. I’d like to water before sunrise but as close to sunrise as possible. Even if only watering for 20 min. I’d like to see Rachio do the calculation auto vs. me trying to set a hard start time.

Do you have your soil type, root depth, avail. water, etc… set-up in the Advanced zone settings? Are you setting the 24min/zone yourself? With Daily Flex on, mine is only doing a “heavy” water once a week. Additional short runs (~12 min.) on the zones with little shade the other days.


Water restrictions may encourage people to overwater, well beyond grass root depth on the one-three days of allowed watering. Or worse, cause runoff due to lack of cycle soak (though restrictions tend to have fines for runoff too). Not exactly a good way to utilize water beneficially since grass will just brown anyway in high heat climates. If irrigation districts could except households with (seemingly) properly configured EPA WaterSense certified controllers, that’d be nice. Means a trip to City Council during public comment.

If I need to, I additionally water for about half the time as the Flex scheduled duration around 3pm. Watering in the mid afternoon may allow enough day light and heat for water to sufficiently evaporate and transpire away from the grass before sun down. I haven’t noticed any burning (where sunlight is focused by tiny water droplets and concentrate energy into tiny areas on grass blades). Probably because the droplets evaporate rapidly in our usually dry heat.

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@Kubisuro I understand why they have the restrictions. The average Joe would water way too much regardless. “It’s hot, I should turn on the sprinkler”, Lawn brown from being cut way too short, turn on the sprinkler… water usage does go down as a result of the restrictions.
That said, I hope that when the city eventually finds me watering on off days, that they are actually concerned about water conservation (what we & Rachio do) vs. simply enforcing code.

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Thanks for the reply. I asked the city if they would make an exception considering I’m using a Rachio (which they subsidized), but they refused and said any violation would result in a $2,000 fine.

I have my schedule set to end at sunrise as well. I set the advanced settings (grass type, sun exposure, soil type, etc.) for each zone when I installed the Rachio, and the app recommended I water for 3hrs and 20 min. The 24 minutes is the average each zone runs for (220min/9zones), but I have added 10 more minutes to each zone with sun exposure in the afternoon to see if that helps.

A big problem I have though is that the way the previous owner set the zones up, they are almost all mixed with both grass and plants, so I can’t just water the plants when they need more water and not water the lawn or vise-versa. Want to get that fixed some day, but will probably be expensive.

I agree that running it on Daily Flex and watering heavy once a week and adding additional days to the schedule as need depending on the weather would make a lot more sense.