Sprinkling in the Summer

August 2nd, 2019 by Tuff Turf Molebusters
For season grass, summer in Michigan is the worst time of the year.  Remember the heat wave 2 weeks ago with the 90 degree temperatures, high humidity, and even nights that were still 80 degrees at 10:00 PM?  Not only were we uncomfortable, but our lawns were too!  Diseases that attack grass love the heat, humidity, and grass that is under heat stress.  While we cannot control the temperature, there are a few things that you can control, like:

If you have an underground system, avoid sprinkling in the middle of the night.  You should water in the morning for about 15 minutes per zone with rotor heads and 2 minutes per zone with misters.  Water after 6:00 AM so that your lawn is not wet while it is dark.   When temperatures are above 80 degrees, sprinkle again in the afternoon to cool the lawn.  If you are watering in the heat of the day, make sure to water long enough to compensate for evaporation from the sun and wind.  For zones with rotor heads, water for 5 – 10 minutes and 2 minutes for the misters.  This will vary depending on soil profile, type of grass, amount of sun, and the amount of wind you receive.

I realize that underground sprinkling is a nice luxury and not everybody can afford it.  However, in today’s technological world, the lack of an underground sprinkler system is not really an excuse to avoid sprinkling when you are not home.  Amazon has everything you need to make your own “above ground sprinkling system”.  For less than $60 you can buy a digital timer that attaches to your spigot and has up to 4 connections for garden hoses that can be programmed to run at different times.  All you have to do is set out 4 sprinklers in your lawn.  You can even buy timers that have WiFi so you can control the timer with an app.  You would want to move the hoses every couple of days to avoid killing the grass under it.  I have seen many homes with nice systems using garden hoses, and you don’t have to blow them out in the fall!