August can be a tough month on lawns as precipitation diminishes and heat increases. It can also be a difficult time for our groundwater supply, as water levels in rivers and streams become stressed as well. When contemplating lawn care during this season, keep in mind that grass normally goes dormant and brown, but it’s still alive, and will turn green and start growing when the rains come again.
It may seem obvious, but it’s important to keep an eye on the weather before running a sprinkler system. We’ve all seen irrigation systems running during a rain storm, which is a huge waste of water, energy, and resources. Lawns need just 1″ of water a week to stay green, and often times are over watered by older, outdated irrigation systems, which generally run on a preset schedule with no consideration for weather. For the best water efficiency, irrigation systems should be upgraded to a WaterSense labeled irrigation controller, which uses local weather and landscape conditions to tailor watering schedules to actual conditions on the site, telling the irrigation system when to turn on and off.
Finally, during these final months of summer, please remember to follow the town water restrictions, which are in place to make sure that there is enough water for public health and for fire fighting. There is no difference between the water that comes out of your kitchen sink or your outside spigot – it’s the only water we have – so let’s use it wisely.