While the all the recent Spring rain has been beneficial, the hot, dry summer months are right around the corner and it’s time to start thinking about the heat.  Keep your lawn and plants healthy by planning ahead.

Early Signs of Dehydration:

  • Upward curiling of grass blades and leaves
  • Yellowing or shriveled leaves
  • Browning of leaf edges
  • Premature blossom or leaves dropping
  • Slow growth
  • Stems keel over

Lawn Care Tips:

  • Begin to irrigate only when dry conditions cause obvious turf wilt that lasts for more than one day.
  • In the Spring, allow the grass to to green up naturally and even wilt some. A deeper and more-hardy root system will develop which will resist drought much better.
  • Mow grass as tall and as frequently as possible. Taller grass has a deeper root system that draws moisture from a larger volume of soil and results in less need for irrigation.
  • Grass height should never be less than 2-1/2 inches after mowing. Mow frequently enough so that clippings are 1 to 1-1/2 inches long. A lawn mowed at heights of 3 to 3-1/2 inches will have a better chance of surviving prolonged drought.  Most homeowners mow lawns once a week regardless of the mowing height. But taller mowing heights are less likely to cause turf scalping.

Conserve water by knowing when to water:

  • The best time to water a lawn is from 6 to 8 a.m. During this time, the water pressure is highest, wind is low, and water evaporation is low. Avoid irrigation during midday and windy conditions.
  • If footprints appear on the lawn longer than a few hours, your lawn turf needs watering.
  • Water only when the plant tells you to. Become familiar with areas of the lawn that wilt first — bluish-purple leaves, rolled leaves, foot printing. Water within a day of observing these symptoms.
  • Spot water problem areas by hand to postpone the need for irrigation of the entire lawn. Some areas of a lawn usually wilt before others. Soaker hoses that have a narrow pattern and supply water at a slow rate may be useful in these areas.

In addition to your lawn, remember to keep the dirt near your foundation moist. Extended dry periods can cause your foundation to crack causing expensive repairs.

Have a great summer!