Cooling benefits of a healthy lawn on a hot summer day
Summer has definitely arrived as evidenced by the +90º temperatures we are experiencing, along with a severe summer drought. Many lawns are suffering from the lack of rain and it often becomes a dilemma to many homeowners whether to spend the effort, time, and money irrigating the lawn to keep it healthy. To make your decision to turn the water on a little more acceptable is the benefit you and your lawn will gain from doing so.
A healthy lawn is a tremendous air conditioning system as it transpires water. A lawn can be as much as 30 degrees cooler than concrete, or even bare ground. So, even though you may be spending more money for irrigation, your home surroundings will be much cooler as a result of it and in the long run water is much cheaper than renovating a sick or dead lawn.
How and when we water is also important to its utilization and the health of the turf. Irrigation water should be applied in thorough, less-frequent, applications to deeply moisten the soil to a depth of three to four inches to encourage a stronger deep-rooted turf. A light sprinkle each day only encourages shallow rooting and greater evaporation loss. Watering should be done early enough in the day to allow the turf leaves to dry before nightfall to reduce fungal disease proliferation. Remember it is the transpiration of water from the plants that provides the cooling effect not the wetness of the lawn.
Published June 6, 2007
Dr. Wayne Wells is an Extension Professor and Turfgrass Specialist. His mailing address is Department of Plant and Soil Sciences, Mail Stop 9555, Mississippi State, MS 39762. firstname.lastname@example.org