Experts estimate that 50% of the water used to irrigate commercial and residential lawns is wasted due to evaporation, runoff, and excess watering (Outdoor Water Use Fact Sheet). If your lawn is drying out in this summer heat, you may not need to water more – just a change in when and how you water. Here’s what you can do…
- Water when it’s cool out, such as late evening or early morning, to prevent water loss due to evaporation. The worst time to water is during the heat of the day.
- Apply water slowly enough to prevent runoff. If water begins to puddle or run down sidewalks, turn it off and let it soak in before adding more water. Compact soils or clay soils can take an exceptionally long time to absorb any water.
- Set your mower height to 2” off the ground. Longer blades of grass will help to shade and insulate the roots and soil. And, the more biomass above ground, the larger the root system which helps the grass absorb and hold the water.
- Step on your lawn to test the grass’s water content. If it bounces back it doesn’t need watered yet. If it stays flat, it’s time to water.
- Always keep your watering system maintained. Leaking hoses or faucets contribute to water waste.
Click here to learn more about yard and garden water management from the MSU Estension.
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