To Water Or Not To Water

“Heat Wave;” “Dangerously Hot;” “Hazing and Humid;” these are the various ways local meteorologists have chosen to describe our current weather conditions. The oppressive heat is predicted to last at least until early next week. I plan to ride out this heat wave in the comfort of our air-conditioned home. From here, I will be able to watch our green lawn bake into a toasty brown. To water or not to water… that is the question.

If you are suffering through similar conditions and pondering the same question, perhaps these lawn care points will help you make your decision. (Keep in mind that if your city or municipality is under a water ban, that would supercede these points.)

· Just because your lawn has been scorched to a brown or yellow hue, it is not dead, it is simply dormant. Lawn care experts say that your grass will return to its green appearance with the return of cooler, moister weather. Although it may look unappealing, a brown lawn (caused by excessive heat) doesn’t translate into a neglected lawn.

· No amount of mid-summer watering will make your lawn look as lush as it did in spring.

· Experts say most lawns require one inch of water per week through the summer. This includes rainfall that has soaked into the soil. During times of intense heat more water may be required to keep your green lawn from fading to a pale yellow.

· It is better to give your grass one deep watering per week than to go out every day and sprinkle it with frequent light waterings.

· If possible, water early in the morning. Not only does this conserve water, but it also limits disease that is spread when grass blades stay wet all night.

· Ankle high grass is less attractive, but requires less water than closely shorn lawns. Studies have shown that lawns mowed to a height greater than 2.5 inches require less water through the summer.

Whether you decide to water or not is a decision you must make. (However, watering may require leaving the comfort of an air-conditioned home.)

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Michele Cheplic

About Michele Cheplic

Michele Cheplic was born and raised in Hilo, Hawaii, but now lives in Wisconsin. Michele graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a degree in Journalism. She spent the next ten years as a television anchor and reporter at various stations throughout the country (from the CBS affiliate in Honolulu to the NBC affiliate in Green Bay). She has won numerous honors including an Emmy Award and multiple Edward R. Murrow awards honoring outstanding achievements in broadcast journalism. In addition, she has received awards from the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association for her reports on air travel and the Wisconsin Education Association Council for her stories on education. Michele has since left television to concentrate on being a mom and freelance writer.