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Here in Rochester, NY and Monroe County, we’ve experienced a hot and dry summer. You’ve probably noticed your lawn has turned an ugly shade of yellow or brown. This is not uncommon, and usually, the turf will go dormant without adequate water. However, in severe drought areas, the grass can actually die. To keep your lawn green, hydrated, and healthy, check out these easy tips for watering your lawn.

1. When Should I Water My Lawn?

The best time to water your lawn is in the evening (after the sun has gone down) or in the early morning. If you water during the hot day, you run the risk of the water evaporating before it reaches the lawn’s roots.

2. How Much Water is Needed?

Lawns in hot, dry weather need up to one to two inches a week, and less when it is cooler. Be sure to wet the entire root zone. Different types of soil require different watering guidelines. For example, clay soils, which are common in the Greater Rochester Area, need to be watered close to the point of runoff. This is because the clay soil is hard for water to penetrate. Once the water has soaked in, you can water again. Sandy soil, on the other hand, has a hard time retaining moisture, so you’ll have to water more often.

3. Should I Use a Hose, Sprinklers, or an Irrigation System?

If you have a small yard, you can probably get away with using a hose with a watering nozzle one to two times a week. Just remember, you’ll have to get up early to water, or wait until later in the evening. Plan to spend about a half hour, depending on lawn size, watering by hand.

For larger lawns, or for people who don’t have time to water by hand, sprinklers and irrigation systems are the way to go. These can be set to a timer for a time-saving, more hassle-free watering experience.

Other Tips:

Be mindful of where you water.

This is easy if you’re watering by hand with a hose, but if you have sprinklers or an irrigation system, be sure you’re not accidentally watering your driveway, porch, patio, etc.

Don’t count on rainfall.

Light rain showers just wet the surface of the lawn, and don’t get absorbed by the grass roots. Likewise, short and heavy downpours typically result in runoff before the rain reaches the roots.

Don’t overwater.

Overwatering your lawn can lead to more weeds. This is because, when the grass roots are constantly wet, they are deprived of oxygen, leaving them susceptible to weeds and disease.

Follow these tips for watering your lawn, and you’ll have a lush, green yard in no time!

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