Many lawns in Cranberry area are turning brown following a string of 90-plus degree days and very little rain.
And many homeowners may be tempted to break out the sprinkler—but they could end up doing more harm than good, according to A&N Lawn Service President Phil Rizzitano.
"If you start watering your lawn in weather like this, you can't stop. It's all or nothing," he said. "Watering for a short period of time, infrequently will actually shock the grass, making the situation even worse."
Rizzitano said if you don't have a sprinkler system, or aren't committed to watering your entire lawn for at least a half an hour a day, every day, it's better to just leave the grass alone.
"It's mother nature doing her thing, the grass looks like it won't come back, but it will, once we get some steady rain and cooler temperatures," he said.
The same can not be said for annuals and vegetable gardens.
"They need constant waterings, or they won't survive," Rizzitano said. "But more mature shrubs and perennials will hang in there without a lot of water, as long as you don't stress them by pruning them in the heat."
Rizzitano also suggests raising your mower blades and not cutting the grass below 3-4 inches to help offset the effects of the heat.
When you water is equally important, according to Liz Frattare, owner of Rooted in Thyme Landscaping and Nursery in Upper St. Clair.
“The best time to water a plant is before 10 o’clock in the morning. The worst time to water a plant is 2, 3 o’clock. You lose a lot of it to evaporation,” she said.
Actually, the worst time is as dusk approaches.
“You never put your plants to bed wet. Don’t do it at 7 or 8 at night,” she said— or you probably will start to notice Mr. Mildew moving in.