Drought and local lawn Watering restrictions are plaguing people across the country. Not so in Cincinnati. Cincy is fortunate: It draws 88 percent of its water from the large Ohio River. The other 12 percent comes from an underground aquifer. Watering restrictions in Cincinnati are rare since the river isn’t likely to run dry any time soon. In fact, in 2019 may be the third wettest year on record for the Queen City.
Cincinnati is also humid, which helps keep things green. That said, some years our lawns and gardens often need more water than Mother Nature provides during the summer.
Watering smart involves knowing when and how much to water your lawn. The best time to give the grass a drink is in the morning, before 10 a.m. This allows the soil to absorb the water before it evaporates during the heat of the day and help your lawn thrive in hotter weather. It also gives the grass enough time to dry by nightfall. Too much water on your lawn overnight can lead to disease that can kill the grass.
Established lawns in Cincinnati need at least an inch of water weekly (the amount varies depending on your soil type). Instead of watering daily for shorter stretches of time, lawn experts recommend watering every few days for longer periods. This way, water soaks deeply into the soil, giving roots the moisture they need to survive. If Mother Nature is giving you a hand with rainfall, cut back on running those sprinklers.
Proper mowing will help save water and keep your grass thick and healthy. Set your mower blade height to three inches or higher, and don’t mow too often. Taller grass will develop deeper roots which will hold up better during the summer heat.
While there aren’t any watering restrictions in Cincinnati right now, it’s still a good idea to keep water conservation in mind. The Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical garden gets kudos for installing underground tanks that reuse rainwater and save millions of gallons of water a year. Likewise, the University of Cincinnati received national recognition for its efforts to conserve water and to lessen the flow of stormwater into the city’s sewer system.
So even though there’s an abundance of water right now, go with the flow and limit your watering. Our neighbors in the drought-stricken states will thank you.
Looking to learn more about lawn care and gardening in Cincinnati? Visit our Cincinnati Lawn Care page.
Tina Hill is a landscape designer who stages homes before they go on the market. She recently remodeled her own backyard to include covered hardscaped areas along with an outdoor kitchen and fireplace.
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