The heat of summer and, increasingly, drought, take a toll on lawns across America. When your neighborhood encounters high temperatures and/or lack of rain, the area’s entire ecosystem is affected significantly and our lawns are no exception.
Your grass can remain healthy in these conditions with a little help from you. Following the watering tips below can help your lawn survive a heat wave plus you can effectively conserve water, making your lawn care a bit more earth-friendly.
Check out these watering tips to enjoy a lush, healthy lawn even in this summer heat:
Tip 1: Water Infrequently, Deeply
When it’s time to water, water thoroughly and deeply (about 1 inch per week, once a week). Frequent, yet brief, watering doesn’t reach the roots and does little for your lawn. If your grass has a deep, healthy root system, then it will be better equipped for dry, hot conditions. To measure how much rain your lawn receives weekly, use a rain gauge. A rain gauge is a very helpful tool in managing the overall health of your lawn and garden.
Tip 2: Water Early in the Morning
Timing is everything, even when it comes to your lawn. Watering in the early morning hours is ideal for several reasons: There is less chance of evaporation; little to no wind is present to dry out your lawn; and it is less prone to disease because your grass dries before nightfall. Again, your ultimate goal when watering is not only to reach the root system but also to conserve water.
Tip 3: Use Portable Sprinklers or an Irrigation System
Simple portable sprinklers and other watering & irrigation supplies promote water conservation and a lower monthly water bill because they provide consistent, uniform coverage. Keep in mind that some watering equipment can be more wasteful than beneficial, however, depending on its placement and the amount of water runoff that takes place.
For example, if your lawn is on a slope, you’ll need to ensure sprinklers are positioned so that water is reaching the lawn—not running off onto the curb. Some irrigation systems have a built-in timer or gauge—perfect for homeowners who travel frequently and/or maintain busy schedules.
If you are using portable sprinklers, an easy way to make sure you are watering evenly and applying the correct amount is to place a clean tuna can (label removed) in the area where you are watering. Tuna cans are usually approximately 1” high so when the can is full, you have reached your 1” for the week.
Tip 4: Adjust Lawn Mower Blade Height
The blade height of your lawn mower should remove no more than one-third of the leaf blade during each mowing; otherwise, it places additional stress on the lawn in the heat of the summer. Also, keep your blade sharp so that it cuts grass cleanly instead of shredding it. When you cut your grass too short it will scorch or brown out which could potentially kill or permanently damage your lawn.
Tip 5: Don’t Forget: Check Your Local Watering Restrictions
Always be sure to learn what current restrictions you need to abide by which are usually set by your local government but in some cases, your state will have specific rules as well.