In the heat of the summer, many areas of the United States experience long dry spells which are very stressful for your lawn. Many types of grass will respond to the dry weather by going dormant during the summer months. This helps them survive until the cooler fall weather. Unfortunately, your area will sometimes receive just enough rainfall to trigger the grass out of dormancy. So, to keep your lawn healthy during the hottest part of the summer, here are some guidelines.
Buy a Raingauge
Lawns require about an inch of water every week to keep them green and healthy. If you are not getting that from rainfall, then you should provide the extra water. Buy an inexpensive rain gauge so you can know how much rain you are receiving and how much water you need to supply. Don’t rely on the Internet or local newspaper for rainfall totals. Summer rain storms are often very localized, so your totals may be very different than the official report.
Water the Lawn Early
During the hot summer months, watering the lawn in the early morning is the best idea. During the middle of the day, much of water used is lost to evaporation. Plus, the sun beating on the wet grass can actually cause harm. As you probably already know, the sun’s light can be magnified by water droplets. This can cause the sun to actually burn the grass blades. Watering in the morning gives the grass the opportunity to dry before the heat of the day.
Water for Longer Periods
Since a lawn needs about an inch of water per week, it is best to provide that water all at once if possible. This allows the water to absorb more deeply into the soil. The roots of the grass plants will naturally make their way to the deeper moisture source which provides a stronger grass plant that is less succeptable to disease and drought. Short watering periods, even if you provide the same amount of water, don’t let the grass establish the strong root system it needs.
Consider an In-Ground Sprinkler System
It’s definately a hassle to lug hoses around the yard. An in-ground sprinkler system solves this problem. Once installed and adjusted, it will automatically take care of the watering and provide the appropriat amount at the right time. For more information, please see our article on in-ground sprinkler products.
Follow Local Water Usage Restrictions
If you live in an area where there is little extra water, follow the watering rules established by your city. Unfortunately, you may not be able to water your lawn at all. In this case, you have no options. If you consistently have watering restrictions imposed, perhaps you should consider replacing your lawn with a rock-scape, similar to what homeowners in desert locations.