When to water and when not to ... and how much
The official start of summer may still be four days away, but the forecast doesn't seem to know that, and as a result, neither does the grass.
Hot rays of sunlight may be making grass brown, but that isn't necessarily a bad thing, said William Shoemaker, senior research specialist at the University of Illinois extension in St. Charles.
"If you allow the grass to turn brown, it's simply turning dormant," he said. "At some point when we have consistent rain it'll turn green, but it won't hurt the lawn to let it go brown for a little while."
But if a brown lawn just isn't acceptable, Shoemaker warns to water wisely — a thorough watering upward of three hours is much more beneficial than watering in short bursts like an hour, he explained.
"If you water for less than an hour or so, it's effectively useless," he said. "The water will evaporate and leave grass dry."
Shoemaker said watering thoroughly every three to four days will make grass roots grow deeper into the soil, seeking more moisture, whereas watering sparingly everyday will cause short roots. The same principle can be applied to vegetable and flower gardens, he said.
As for the best time of day to water, Shoemaker said morning is preferred over midday and even the evening, since water on leaves plants more susceptible to disease and if plants are wet in the evening they tend to stay wet overnight.
Though Saturday and Sunday hold the possibility of scattered thundershowers, the coming week promises temperatures in the high 80s and low 90s, with sunny skies with little to no cloud cover, according to AccuWeather.
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