Keeping your lawn thick, green and healthy means doing several things right. One of the most important is making sure there’s enough moisture to maintain growth.

Nature’s rainfall schedule is not dependable. Some additional watering is almost always necessary, at least during the hotter and drier parts of the year, to avoid water stress.

Lawns turn brown, thin out, and run into more disease and insect problems when under water stress. A thin, water-stressed lawn also creates room for weeds to invade. So whether you use underground or portable sprinklers, there are a few basic guidelines to follow to avoid these problems and maintain good lawn health.

One basic rule is: Water your lawn when the least amount will be lost. Avoid watering in the heat of the day to make sure your water goes down to the roots instead of going up as vapor. Also avoid watering when windy conditions will affect even watering or cause you to water your neighbor’s lawn instead of your own.

When you water, saturate the soil to a depth of 6″ to 8″. Frequent, shallow watering causes the grass to send roots to the surface for water, where they suffer more quickly during dry, hot spells. Also be sure to put down extra water along curbs and pavement, because these areas heat up much more and dry out much faster.