You’ve Been Watering Your Lawn Wrong Here in Minnesota
While much of Minnesota suffered through that massive drought last summer, things are better this year. But you're still probably watering your lawn wrong!
I don't know about your lawn, but the lawn in our backyard here in Rochester was pretty severely burned by last summer's drought. We had massive sections of our lawn (the portions that are directly in the afternoon sun) simply turn brown and die last year, and they didn't come back this spring.
Of course, we made the mistake of not watering our lawn last year. So, not wanting to do the same thing this year, I did a little research into watering your lawn. And I found that, if you're like me, you've probably been watering your lawn the wrong way.
According to the University of Minnesota Extension, lawns here in Minnesota need to be watered according to how much moisture or rain has fallen. That makes sense, right? When it DOES need watering, though, the U of M has the following advice:
Minnesotans should water their lawns infrequently (one time or less per week) with a sufficient volume of water to wet soils to a depth of six inches, assuming no rainfall has occurred. Depending on your soil type, your lawn may only need as little as a half-inch of water.
Ah-ha! That's a mistake I've made previously-- I would water our lawn much more often, like once a day even, but I wouldn't let too much water soak in. And that's all wrong, according to the U. Giving your lawn a good soaking and allowing time between waterings encourages roots to grow deeper as they seek out moisture, the U noted.
So how do you know long to leave those sprinklers on? That's where this handy 'tuna can test' comes in: Landscaping by Dan and Sons, a lawn care firm, explains it like this:
Lawns typically need 1 to 1.5 inches of water per week. To make sure your lawn is getting enough water, place empty tuna cans in the areas you are watering and stop when they fill to between 1 to 1.5 inches.
Who knew a tuna can could be all you need to help keep your lawn green and healthy here in Minnesota? I sure didn't! Check out the video below for more on how to use the 'tuna can test' to help your lawn.
Lawn and yard care is a rite of summer here in the Land of 10,000 Lakes, almost as much as the Minnesota State Fair is. And speaking of the Fair, keep scrolling to check out the 38 new foods that will be making their debut at this year's Great Minnesota Get-Together!
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