May temperatures have been higher than normal and we haven’t received much rain. So…you’re lawn may be suffering. We’re seeing some lawns edge toward dormancy because of the unusually dry days we’ve experienced. A lawn that needs water will darken to a purplish hue. And when you step on your lawn the grass blades will lay flat and not spring back. A really dry lawn will start to brown as it enters dormancy, but it can be brought back by a deep watering.
The key to watering is to do it infrequently and deeply. That does not mean running your sprinkler or irrigation system for 10 minutes every day. What that means is letting one inch of water hit the ground on a weekly basis. Take an empty tuna can or some other flat, open container and place it in your lawn with the sprinkler running. Let it run until one inch of water has accumulated. If that takes 30 minutes, great. If it takes 3 hours, that’s fine too. But now you know how long it takes to get one inch of water onto your lawn. Central Indiana clay-based soils don’t absorb water quickly so you might be in for a lengthy watering cycle. If it takes a long time to accumulate one inch of water, it is acceptable to divide that into two shorter waterings per week.
As mentioned, under normal weather conditions, the average lawn needs one inch of water per week. Now, when temps increase to high 90’s or higher, for days on end, you will need to water more frequently – even daily if temps really soar with little to no rain. Watch your lawn, look for the signs and if need be turn on the water.
One word of caution, a stressed lawn is susceptible to disease as it is watered. Keep your eyes peeled for unusual yellowing or browning (splotches, circles or stripes) and give us a call if you have any questions.