Caring For Your Lawn

By: Allison Hunt
By: Allison Hunt

Knoxville (WVLT) - It's been really dry with no real relief in sight. In the last month, we've only had an inch and a half of rain, which is below average for East Tennessee.

And without the rain your lawn may be paying the price.

Volunteer TV’s Allison Hunt takes a look at what you can do to keep your grass green this summer.

It's going to be at least 5 days before we see any more rain.

So lawn care specialists say set your sprinklers and get out your garden hoses.

The dry winter and spring this year has gardeners keeping a close eye on the botanical gardens at Crescent Bend.

"Normally, a plant needs about an inch of water a week, but because it's been so dry we're watering about 3 times that amount right now,” says Brett Grim, trustee at Crescent Bend.

Every day about 10,000 gallons of water an hour are pumped from the Tennessee River and sprayed across this historical home's seven acre area.

"All of the plants, even mature plants are suffering and they need to have a good drink of water,” Grim says.

Your lawn probably needs a good drink too and odds are your home irrigation is not what it is at Cresent Bend. So what can you do to keep your grass green?

Tip number one, know when to water your lawn and plants. Experts say mornings are best.

"That's when the plants are going to use the most water, cause that's when they're growing the most,” says John Sorochan from the UT Department of Plant Sciences.

And contrary to what grandma may have told you, you can water your lawn too much.

"Putting too much down and you get puddling, you get scalding and it's like a magnifying glass and will burn your grass,” Sorochan explains.

"One way people can tell at home is they just put a pail out in their yard when they're watering and when they reach an inch of water, that's enough water they need on their lawn,” Grim explains.

And only mow your lawn when the grass "really" needs to be cut.

"You don't want to mow more than one third of that plant leaf blade off at one time, so you don't wanna scalp your grass down, cause if you scalp you're going to actually stress that grass and it's going to use and waste more water,” Sorchan says.

And during a drought, you don't want to waste a drop of it.

"Water is extremely important,” Grim says. “If we didn't have water, all of our materials are gonna dry up and die."

There's a good chance we could go through several drought periods throughout the summer.

So it's a good idea to plan now for the next few months.

In the meantime, remember what the lawn care specialists say, less water, more often, sort of like eating six small meals a day rather than two big ones.


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