Summer Watering

What's the best way to irrigate the lawn to keep it green through the summer months?

In most summers in Ohio , lawns can quickly decline in quality in July and August with the arrival of hot, dry weather. You should make a decision by early summer whether you will allow the lawn to go dormant or irrigate to keep it green. Note that the lawn should not be taken in and out of dormancy.

Early morning, before 9 a.m. , is the most efficient time for irrigating. The lawn is already wet from dew, humidity is high, calm conditions usually exist and temperatures are cooler, all of which favor maximum infiltration and utilization of water. Irrigating later in the day allows the grass to stay wet through the evening hours, which increases the risk of disease.

During rain-free periods, approximately one inch of water will be needed per week to maintain lawn quality. If runoff is a problem, irrigate every five days with one-half to three-quarters inch of water. Or, irrigate until runoff begins, delay irrigation for one to two hours to permit infiltration, then resume watering until the desired amount of water has been applied. Use straight-sided cans or rain gauges placed under the sprinkler pattern to monitor the amount and distribution of water being applied.