DES MOINES, Iowa – The lack of rain has taken a toll on lawns across central Iowa. Keeping the grass green, can be tough. So do we water or leave it alone?

Dave Ostrander with O and S Lawncare out of Indianola said, “What I recommend to people is to water at least one inch a week. It’s not going to keep the yard green, but it will keep the root system healthy so when we start getting some moisture it will recover better.”

Ostrander said to measure out an inch, place a rain gauge under the sprinkler. Once it hits an inch move to the next dry spot. A tuna can also works to measure it out.

You can also add annual applications of nutrients. Ostrander recommends a delayed release product that activates once the rain comes.

One thing you should hold off on is the lawnmower. “I’ve had a lot of customers say, oh, I need to mow my yard and I tell them no. Get your weed eater out and hit the high spots and call it good, especially if you’ve got a big rider and you’re driving across something that’s brown…it’s not doing any good,” said Ostrander.

Don’t forget about your trees and shrubs, even if they are established. He said they need a drink too, so they stay strong and healthy.