Expert Guide: Watering Your Lawn While on Vacation for a Lush, Green Yard

Keep Your Grass Green While on Vacation: A Comprehensive Guide

Vacations are an essential time to relax and recharge. However, many homeowners worry about their lawn’s health during their time away. Fear not! Grass maintenance while on vacation is achievable with the right preparation and tips. This guide will provide valuable information on how to water your lawn while on vacation and ensure a lush and green landscape upon your return.

Whether you’re away for a few days or a few weeks, understanding your lawn’s needs and employing smart strategies will help maintain its health and beauty. From proper mowing and watering techniques to smart home technology and lawn care services, there’s a solution for every vacation duration and budget.

If You’re Away for 1 Week (or Less)

When planning a short vacation, you can take some simple steps to maintain your lawn’s health. By following these tips, you can ensure that your grass stays green while you’re away.

Mow and Water Your Lawn Before Leaving

Mowing your lawn at the regular height for your grass type and watering it deeply the day before you leave will help it stay healthy while you’re gone. This ensures that your lawn won’t be too long or too dry, which can lead to damage or disease.

Farm Tractor on the Field (Photo by Mirko Fabian)

Set the Sprinkler Timer

Setting the timer for your sprinklers to come on four days later can help keep your lawn hydrated while you’re away. This allows your lawn to get the water it needs without over-watering, which can cause other problems.

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Apply Lawn Food After Returning

After returning from vacation, applying Scotts® Liquid Green Max™ Lawn Food can help give your lawn a nutritious boost. This can help green up the yard in just three days and keep it healthy for the rest of the summer.

Ethnic woman with kid resting on green meadow (Photo by Meenakshi Vinay Rai)

By following these simple steps, you can ensure that your lawn stays healthy while you enjoy your vacation. By taking care of your lawn before and after you leave, you can come home to a green and healthy yard.

If You’re Away for 2 Weeks

Going on a two-week vacation is a perfect opportunity to recharge and relax, but it can be stressful knowing your lawn will be left unattended for an extended period. However, with a little preparation and planning, you can ensure your lawn remains healthy and green while you’re away.

Mow Your Lawn Before Leaving and After Returning

It’s important to mow your lawn before leaving, preferably a day or two before your departure. Cutting your grass shorter than usual will help reduce the amount of water lost through evaporation. Additionally, by cutting it shorter, you’ll discourage pests and rodents from making your unoccupied lawn their home. Once you return, raise the mower height and cut the grass to its regular height. Avoid cutting more than a third of the grass height at a time, as this can be detrimental to your lawn’s health.

Invest in a Smart Sprinkler Controller

Your lawn requires 1 to 1.5 inches of water per week to stay healthy and hydrated. If you’re relying on a traditional sprinkler system, you’ll need to set it to water your lawn regularly while you’re away. However, if it rains during your absence, your lawn can become waterlogged, which can lead to root rot and other issues. To avoid this, consider investing in a smart sprinkler controller. This device can adjust your sprinkler system’s schedule based on the weather forecast, ensuring your lawn receives the perfect amount of water, even when you’re away.

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Apply Slow-Release Fertilizer Before Leaving

Before leaving on your vacation, apply a slow-release fertilizer to your lawn. This type of fertilizer will provide your grass with a steady supply of nutrients for up to six months, ensuring it remains healthy and green while you’re away. Avoid applying regular summer fertilizer, as this can encourage new growth, which requires more water and nutrients.

Free stock photo of adult, agriculture, equipment (Photo by Alican Helik)

By following these tips, you can ensure your lawn remains healthy and green while you’re on vacation, so you can return to a beautiful yard without worrying about the damage caused by neglect.

If You’re Away for a While

Some holidays just call for taking more time. If you’re gone longer than 2 weeks, you’ve got 2 options: Invest in keeping your lawn active or let it go dormant.

Keep Your Lawn Growing Strong with a Smart Watering System

The best way to keep your lawn looking great while you’re away is to use a smart watering system. This device senses rainfall, so your grass only gets water if it needs it. This ensures that you don’t overwater your lawn, which can lead to issues like fungus. Additionally, you can set up your smart watering system to water your lawn during the early morning or late evening to prevent water from evaporating during the hottest parts of the day.

When you use a smart watering system, you don’t have to worry about your lawn drying out or dying while you’re away. You can also fertilize it as you usually would, so you can come home to a lush, green lawn.

Hire a Lawn Service or Ask a Neighbor to Cut Your Grass

If you’re going to be away for a while, it’s important to make sure that your lawn is being cut regularly. An overgrown lawn can attract pests and rodents, and it can also be unsightly. You can either hire a lawn service to take care of your lawn, or ask a trusted neighbor to cut your grass while you’re away.

Make sure to provide your neighbor or lawn service provider with clear instructions on how to cut your grass. For example, tell them what height to cut the grass, what to do with the grass clippings, and how often to cut it.

Let Your Lawn Go Dormant

If you don’t want to invest in keeping your lawn active while you’re away, you can let it go dormant. This is a healthy coping mechanism for grass, and it can help it survive during hot and dry periods.

To let your lawn go dormant, mow it at the usual height the day before you leave. Always mulch your grass clippings instead of bagging, as they’ll decompose and enrich your lawn while you’re gone. Then, don’t worry about watering it and let your lawn go dormant.

When you return, you can water it deeply as soon as you get back and, once it’s actively growing again, give it your favorite lawn food. This will help bring your lawn back to life, and it’ll save you time and money while you’re away.

Man in White Long Sleeve Shirt Watering Plants (Photo by Gustavo Fring)

No matter which option you choose, make sure to take the necessary steps to keep your lawn healthy while you’re away. With these tips, you can go on vacation and truly be on vacation without worrying about coming back to a dead lawn.


Taking a well-deserved vacation shouldn’t lead to stress about the state of your lawn. With proper planning and the right tools, it’s possible to maintain a green and healthy lawn while you’re away.

For short vacations of one week or less, simply mow and water your lawn as usual before departing. Set a timer for your sprinklers to water the lawn during your absence. Upon your return, apply a lawn food to help your grass regain its vibrant green color.

For longer vacations, adjust your mower height before leaving and consider investing in a smart sprinkler controller to ensure your lawn receives the right amount of water based on weather conditions. Plan your fertilizing schedule accordingly, and if you’ll be away for an extended period, consider hiring a lawn service or enlisting a neighbor to maintain your lawn while you’re gone.

In cases where you’ll be away for an extended time, you can opt to let your lawn go dormant. Mow and mulch your grass before leaving, and once you return, water the lawn deeply and apply lawn food to encourage new growth.

By following these tips, you can enjoy your vacation without worrying about the state of your lawn. Upon your return, you’ll be greeted by a healthy, green lawn that’s ready to welcome you home.

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