July 5 EPAWatersenseIn the heat of summer, it’s hard to keep your lawn green and lush – too often we jump to water excessively to maintain that healthy-looking grass! According to the EPA Water Sense program, as much as 50% of water used outdoors is wasted from inefficient watering and irrigation systems. It is important to know how much water your lawn actually needs and how often it needs it. When watering your lawn, one inch a week, in our region, is all it needs. Over-watering can damage plants, stimulate fungus, and leach nutrients out of the soil. To test whether your lawn needs watering, step on the grass. If it springs back up, you do not need to water. If it stays flat, it is time to water again. The best time to water your lawn and garden is in the morning or late evening when temperatures are lower and there is less risk for evaporation.  Frequent, shallow watering will result in grass with shallow roots that are intolerant to extreme weather conditions. Also, avoid watering on windy days and if you have an automatic sprinkler system, be sure it doesn’t turn on during or after a rain event. It is important to know that during summer, grass grows slowly and the blades often turn brown. But this doesn’t mean that the grass is dead; in fact, it is still very much alive and will return to the bright, green color we love after it rains. For more information about watering, please visit the EPA’s Water Sense website