It's hot and humid, which means summer is here before the season actually begins later this month.

Up until Tuesday when Governor Phil Murphy lifted the Stay At Home executive order, you've likely been catching up on a lot of gardening and outdoor projects at home to spruce things up heading into the summer.

Whether it's putting in some new plants, grass, sod, rocks, mulch, furniture or just changing the look, your yard is ready to go now that you can head out and about more often now.

While you're at home though and relaxing a bit make sure that you're properly taking care of your lawn.

In the final days before summer officially kicks off, New Jersey American Water is asking that Monmouth and Ocean County residents cut back on their watering schedules.

They're asking that you water your lawns every other day instead of everyday.

“We hope that our Monmouth and Ocean County customers will voluntarily adopt odd/even watering as they have their lawn irrigation systems turned on,” Carmen Tierno, senior director of operations at New Jersey American Water, said in prepared remarks. “Practicing odd/even watering now will help us manage a finite supply of water, yet our customers will still be able to maintain their lawns and gardens.”

Here are the Odd/Even guidelines NJAW would like to follow:

  • Outdoor water use on odd-numbered days of the month if your street address is an odd number (i.e., 23 Oak St., 7 Maple Ave.)
  • Outdoor water use on even-numbered days of the month if your street address is an even number (i.e., 6 Oak St., 354 Maple Ave.)
  • Water early or late in the day to minimize evaporation

Exceptions are:

  • Watering of new sod or seed if daily watering is required (Note: it is recommended that any planting of new sod or seed that has not already taken place be delayed until the fall)
  • Use of private wells for irrigation
  • Commercial uses of outdoor water, such as for nurseries, farm stands, power washing, plumbing, athletic fields, and car washes
  • Watering of athletic fields Additional tips and information on wise water use are available on New Jersey American Water’s website at www.newjerseyamwater.com under Water Information.

It's not just water that helps your lawn stay healthy so make sure to give it enough shade and not put the blade on the lawn mower too low to risk drying out the grass.

When you do cut your lawn though, let the grass clippings sit on the lawn which allows for new growth as the old clippings act as new seed.

An agronomist, John Buechner, told 92.7 WOBM News that it's also important to remember the one-third rule when cutting your lawn.

"The correct way to mow a lawn is to remove no more than one-third the length of the weed blade," Buechner said. "That's going to require more mowing in the springtime and less in the summer."

He stressed the importance of only mowing the lawn when it needs it, especially if it begins to dry out in the summer.

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