District News Articles

  2. Grass is a very manipulative plant. When it gets hot in Colorado, lawns begin to show stress very easily. Brown patches begin to appear, the deep green color of winter and spring fade and grass’ velvety texture can turn straw-like. Basically, the lawn is throwing the plant equivalent of a tantrum – it is trying to guilt you into giving it more water. While giving in and overwatering your grass might soothe your conscience, it can lead to arrhythmia-inducing water bills.


    Now is the season for tough love. While it doesn’t take much to stress your grass, it does take a lot to permanently damage it. In the heat of the summer, your grass should not be watered more than every other day. If you have been conservative over the cool season, only watering once or twice a week, you might only need to water three times per week.


    Most of the grass used in the Denver metro area prefers a lot of water which isn’t conducive to living in a semi-arid climate like Colorado. It is going to stress some – please expect it. Just like physical stress can build muscles in us, a little water stress in the grass will encourage root development. And just like building muscle is a process, so is developing roots. Just don’t get too overzealous in cutting the water and be realistic – if we are in a heat wave you might have to add a water cycle or two.


    Other things you can do to help your grass through the summer without overwatering:


    ·       Raise the mowing height. Long grass tolerates heat better, shades the soil and helps promote root development.


    ·       Don’t water extra after mowing. It may make you feel better but it really doesn’t do much for the grass.


    ·       While it is best to fertilize in the spring and fall, if you are going to fertilize during the summer, use a slow release fertilizer. One application should be enough. Regular fertilizers can burn the grass in the summertime.


    ·       Brown patches usually indicate problems with the sprinkler system. The areas that remain green are getting adequate water, so let the brown patch be your guide and make sure the sprinklers in that area are working properly. Check to make sure there are no clogs in the sprinklers heads, the heads are properly adjusted and are not blocked or sitting too low.


    A drought-tolerant lawn is a work in progress and requires tough love – so be strong (and save some money)!


    If you have questions or concern on efficient lawn water, contact the District’s conservation specialist Alyssa Quinn at 303-979-2333.