If I want my turf type tall fescue lawn to go dormant June-September in transition zone, how often and how much per watering should I give the lawn?

I'm in Virginia.

  • 1
    Why do you need to water your lawn if you want it to go dormant? Commented Mar 5, 2017 at 4:02

1 Answer 1


The best way to water is very very deeply and allow to dry until you see your footprints on your grass. The blades aren't popping back up as they aren't turgid. Very effective way to know when to water cool season grasses.

Doing this TRAINS the roots to grow deeper and Fescue has a large root system. This large root system also needs appropriate top growth to feed those roots. So part of getting your grass healthy enough to withstand going dormant is keeping your mower on the highest setting possible to allow a minimum of 3 inches of height of your grass blades. This shades/cools the soil and reduces evaporation slowing the time between watering and allowing the roots to work at getting moisture deeper in the soil profile. It also shades the soil so weed seeds are unable to germinate. Vigorous grass out competes any weeds. Fertilizer is also important. Aeration by pulling plugs out of the lawn bed is important. And if at all possible, I would never allow my crop of grass to go p. By using the proper methods I've just described you shouldn't have to allow your lawn to go dormant. Watering once per week, 1" after you've trained your grass to have deep roots to be able to access moisture deep in your soil makes for a very hardy grass crop! Dormancy truly reduces the vitality and health of your lawn. Should only happen once in the lawn's life time if THAT.

  • Here in Pennsylvania, most fescues go into complete dormancy during the coldest winter months.
    – J. Musser
    Commented Mar 6, 2017 at 21:39

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.