Summer is winding down but here in Chaffee County, we've been experiencing day after day of high temperatures with little rain. Some lawns can show signs of stress or are turning brown. Simply watering more isn't always the right course of action. The Associated Landscape Contractors of Colorado offers some tips for hot weather lawn care:
Before you increase watering, do the screwdriver test to make sure the soil really is dry. Push a screwdriver into the soil and if it goes easily into the soil, don't water more now. Let the soil dry out a little before watering again.
If you have patches of brown, again begin with the screwdriver test to make sure soil is dry. If it is, you may have a sprinkler problem that's keeping water from reaching that area. Don't make your whole sprinkler system run longer just for a few brown spots. Run the sprinkler and watch to see if a sprinkler head is damaged or pointing in the wrong direction.
Practice cycle-and-soak watering. Watering all at once creates run-off and wasted water your plants won't get to use. If you usually water an area of lawn about 15 minutes, for example, don't apply all the water within one 15-minute time frame. Instead, break the watering time into three intervals so that the water runs for about five minutes, and then take a break. This break gives the water time to soak into the soil.
Finally, mow high and leave the clippings during a heatwave. The clippings help keep the moisture in the lawn, which will help your lawn survive the summer heat.
Associated Landscape Contractors of Colorado. (2020, July 24). Tip of the week (email newsletter). https://www.alcc.com/tip-of-the-week-email