Q. My daughter and I have having an argument about the best way to water the lawn. Since it’s been so hot lately, I’ve been putting the sprinkler on in the morning before I go to work and moving it when I come home for lunch so that the grass doesn’t die. My daughter only waters her lawn once a week and her grass is turning brown. I think her grass is going to die and she’ll have to reseed it in the spring, she thinks I’m using too much water. Who is right?
A. The devil is always in the details, but I’m afraid that your daughter is right on this one. Grass is naturally adapted to prefer dry conditions, even in extreme heat, it doesn’t need to be watered every day. Lawns only need an inch of water every week. Less frequent watering will also let your grass develop deeper roots, which will create a healthier lawn. Brown grass doesn’t necessarily mean that the grass will die, if your daughter is watering every week, the roots of the grass are probably still perfectly healthy and are waiting for cooler weather to regrow. After all, the coulees turn brown every summer and the wild grasses regrow every year!
To help conserve water, it’s best to water early in the morning or late in the evening. The amount of water that is lost to evaporation increases during the hottest part of the day, so most of the water that you’re putting on your lawn might not even be reaching its roots!