The Iowa State University Extension and Outreach has provided a new series of tips for landscaping professionals who are responsible for maintaining lawns this season. As summer temperatures heat up and the ground dries out, experts believe there are a few tactics that can be used to keep grasses looking green.
Extension horticulturist Richard Jauron and ISU’s Greg Wallace note that the best time to water lawns in the summer is in the early morning, between 5 a.m. and 9 a.m. By watering at the beginning of the day, landscapers can ensure the ground has as much time as possible to soak up water – less of it is lost to evaporation. Watering in the late afternoon or evening can increase the risk of disease issues.
In terms of water amount and application, Wallace and Jauron recommend avoiding frequent, light applications of water. This can encourage shallow rooting and lush growth – which may be less resistant to drought.
Landscaping professionals have a few different options during hot, dry weather. Jauron and Wallace note that grass can be allowed to become dormant. However, landscapers can also water turfgrass to keep it actively growing. Certain cool-season grasses, such as Kentucky bluegrass, may do well in dry weather. It’s important to keep in mind that dormancy is a natural survival mechanism for turfgrass, and roots may remain alive during dry spells.