Summer Watering Tips

With the dog days of summer in full swing we thought we should give some advice on watering to help your lawn get through the stresses of hot dry weather.

The basic rules of thumb for watering are to apply 1 inch of water once per week early in the morning. This works well most of the time, but not all of the time. Here are some other factors that need to be considered if you wish to prevent browning of the grass:

  • If the temperature is in the high 20’s or into the 30’s, you may want to increase the frequency to once every 4-5 days
  • Southern facing lawns, especially if sloped, will dry out quicker and may need to be watered more frequently
  • Sun can reflect off of light colored siding, further cooking South facing lawns
  • Sloping terrain may need more than the standard 1 inch since some water will be lost to runoff
  • Watch for signs of heat or drought stress in your lawn and take action before it becomes a problem

Here are some hints and ideas to make watering less of a chore:

  1. Divide your lawn into 4-5 sections and water each section on a different day
  2. If you don’t have a rain guage improvise by laying down a container with vertical edges, like a tuna can or frisbee
  3. Use a timer to find out how long it take to apply 1 inch of water, then you can set up timers in your phone
  4. Buy a splitter so you can run 2 sprinklers at once
  5. Buy a garden hose timer or two for a little DIY irrigation setup

Despite our best efforts, turf grasses can still go into dormancy when hit with high heat and dry weather. Our turf grasses tend to consist of cool climate grass blends, and they will turn brown and dead looking as a survival mechanism when the conditions are too hot or there is not enough water (we have even seen sun heated lawn mower tires shock lawns into going dormant, causing brown striping all over the lawn while the rest of the lawn is green!). Dormancy is normal, and a lawn can survive several weeks in a dormant state. With proper watering, feeding and general maintenance throughout the season we can hold off dormancy and help our grass bounce back quickly if it does happen to become dormant.

Be sure to check your local regulations and restrictions prior to watering to avoid any costly penalties, and if you have any other tips and ideas let us know. Stay tuned for ways to get your lawn to dominate this Fall!