As I sit up here in the Northeast corner of the country in Maine, mired in one of the worst weather spells I can ever recall, it’s frustrating to hear that 80 percent of the nation is experiencing above-average temperatures. From my perspective, that sounds idyllic!
I know from experience, though, that too much heat can be just as frustrating as too much rain — especially when it comes to the lawn and landscape. Here are a couple of pointers for any of you mired in a heat wave:
1) Let your lawn grow and stay as tall as the highest setting on your mower, 3-4 inches if possible. Taller grass blades shade the surface of the soil and keep it from drying out.
2) When you water the lawn and landscape, water deeply once a week, twice at most. Let the sprinkler run for as long as it takes to soak the soil to a depth of 6-8 inches (test this by digging a small pilot hole with a shovel). Soaking the soil to this depth will teach the roots to grow deeply to suck up the moisture. The worst thing you can do in hot weather is water daily. This teaches the roots to stay near the surface and makes them prone to drought, insects and disease.
3) You can apply anti-dessicants to the soil that will retain water. I’ll post more about these in the near future.