I do the majority of my runs during the afternoon hours, which — especially of late — means it can be pretty warm outside.

Not surprisingly, the increase in temperature has led to an influx of active sprinklers. This has been great for me — there’s nothing better than running through a cool mist of water in the middle of a hot summer run — but it might not be so great for your lawn.

Obviously, hot weather makes artificial irrigation a necessity — if you want to keep your lawn and garden alive and green, that is. But, there are many factors that affect the efficiency of your watering habits. If you’re a frequent hose or sprinkler user, consider the following tips from Clean Air Gardening in order to ensure that you’re getting the most out of your H2O:

1. Water only when you need to. The first three to four inches below the soil’s surface should be dry before you water. Use a screwdriver to test the moistness of your lawn or garden before you hook up the hose.

2. Water less frequently and more deeply. You should be giving your lawn about an inch of water a week, give or take according to climate conditions. This can be tested by putting a small dish on your lawn and measuring how much water it collects during a watering session.

3. Water during the cooler times of day: early morning or late evening. Otherwise, much of the water coming out of the sprinkler will end up evaporating, not hydrating your lawn. Watering in the morning is ideal, as letting the water sit overnight could cause problems such as root rot or fungal diseases.

4. Never water on a windy day, when evaporation levels are highest.

Brooke is a 2010 graduate of The University of Montana, where she ran track and cross country for the Grizzlies. She is currently working as a writer and editor in Missoula.

More From 94.9 KYSS FM