In our last blog post, we discussed the importance of proper watering. This week, we'll dive in deeper to the subject and talk about how to identify a lawn that needs to be watered. Heat stress or drought can cause many issues for your lawn, including disease, insect infestation, weed infestation, and overall poor health. The good news is that these things are preventable and there are warning signs to look for. Here are a few. Visible Footprints - As we discussed in our previous blog, walking around your lawn during the spring you should notice that the "footprints" you leave should go away after a few moments. During times of heat-stress, the elasticity that allows the grass leaves to bounce back, begins to disappear from dehydration. So a good indicator of heat stress is seeing your footprints in your lawn minutes to hours after being on it. Walk across the yard, if you can see your footprints, your lawn is stressed. Time to water. Soil Gaps - You may have never noticed it before, but as your lawn experiences drought like conditions, the soil actually shrinks. Similar to how a sponge shrinks when dry, so does your lawn's soil. How will you notice this? Walk along the perimeter of your sidewalk and driveway, looking for a noticeable gap in between the cement and your lawn. If there's a gap, your lawn is experiencing heat stress. Time to water. Dryness in Bed Edges - Clean edges around your landscape beds look nice during the summer season, but they also serve as a great drought indicator. If your beds have edges around them, it gives you a cutaway look at your lawn's soil a few inches below the surface. If you notice drying "light" colored soil, your experiencing drought stress. Time to water. Screwdriver Test - Dry soil is hard. Very hard in fact as anyone who has tried to dig in it will attest. So, an easy way to determine if your lawn is too dry is to take a screwdriver with a 6-inch shaft and push it into the ground. If you can drive it in easily your lawn in hydrated, if you cannot push it in easily or all the way, your lawn is dehydrated. Time to water. Check out our previous blog for watering tips.