Tips to keep grass green

High temperatures and little rain can be dangerous to grass. Local expert tells how to battle drought conditions.

The lack of rainfall and rising temperatures in the Miami Valley could be damaging your lawn and causing it to turn brown, according to local experts.

Precipitation as measured at Dayton International Airport has been well below average every month since February.

The U.S. Drought Monitor’s most recent report as of June 26 shows that most of Ohio is abnormally dry.

The daily high temperature in the region is forecast to exceed 90 degrees this weekend, according to the National Weather Service.

The average high for this time of year is in the low 80s.

We asked Matt Riley, manager of Dayton Lawn Mowing in Miamisburg, to help you protect your lawn during these dry and hot summer months.

1. “Keep your lawn a little long. Longer lawns do a better job of retaining water and standing up to heat.

“If you can, wait for a cooler day to mow, and you will minimize water loss. Raise your mower deck at least one setting.”

2. “Mulch grass clippings help keep moisture levels steady.”

3. “Keep mower blades sharp. Make sure (your) mower is cutting your grass, not tearing it, to minimize stress during hot temperatures.”

4. “Skip the lawn fertilizer. Extreme heat and lawn fertilizer are a bad combination. You’re likely to damage your lawn.”

5. “Water in the early morning. Early morning watering is a good idea for lawn care throughout the year, but during a heat wave, it is particularly useful in fighting evaporation, which dries out your garden.”

6. “Water deeply. Light and frequent watering might seem like a good idea for a parched lawn. But in fact, a deep watering two or three times a week works best, particularly during heat waves.

“Deeper watering helps the lawn extend its roots deeper into the soil, where moisture can be found even after the top inch or two of soil dries out.”

7. “Mow late or early. Don’t mow your lawn in the blazing sun of a 90-degree day.

“Skip the heat stroke and wait until evening.”

8. “Use a timer or an automatic shutoff for sprinklers. These devices will cut down on wasting water, as will setting up the sprinklers so you don’t water your driveway, walks and other non-lawn areas.”

Contact this reporter at (937) 225-2122 or Jacqueline.Boyle@coxinc. com.