Don’t feel bad for the brown, crispy, seemingly dead blades of grass on your lawn. Envy them. They’re smarter than most of us.
In the old-as-earth cooperative dynamic between the sun and plant life, there’s usually been a polite understanding among the forces of Mother Nature: sun shines, rain falls, plants grow.
Well, if your lawn is like many in the upper Midwest, you’ve no doubt noticed one of the three pieces of that holy trinity hasn’t exactly been pulling its weight.
Saturday’s light dousing notwithstanding, the summer’s been brutal on lawns. Unless you’ve been religiously — and perhaps expensively — substituting your garden hose for the rain, this kind of hot and rainless summer doesn’t make for a lush, green, healthy lawn.
Not to worry.
When mercilessly shunned by the water gods, your grass knows exactly what to do.
“It’s just gone dormant,” says Jesse Miller, greenhouse manager at Drummer’s Garden Center in Mankato.
OK. So what should you do?
You’ve got two options.
Watering will bring it back. But if this option is the one you choose, plan on getting to know your sprinkler real well. And start eating tuna.
“If you’re going to start watering it, you should keep watering it,” Miller says. “One inch a week. Put an empty tuna can on the ground. When it’s full, you have an inch.”
And whatever you do, don’t water in the middle of the day when the temperature is hottest. Doing that wastes water because a good chunk of it simply evaporates. It also, Miller says, stresses the plant more.
Also, don’t water at night. Doing so can lead to fungal growth, which can be harmful. It’s best to water in the early morning, Miller said.
Your other option is to do, well, nothing. Miller says the grass most likely will return yet this summer when Mother Nature decides to cooperate with a little rain.