How to Care For Lawn During Drought (Advice from lawn experts)
It has been a dry year and your lawn is starting to show it. Brown patches are beginning to form and the grass doesn’t seem to be as green as it used to be. Don’t worry, we have some tips for you on how to care for your lawn during a drought. Keep reading for information on irrigation, fertilization, and more!
The first step in caring for your lawn during a drought is to make sure that you have an automatic irrigation system installed. If you don’t have one, and are hand watering your lawn you are wasting more than half the water to run off and evaporation. Make sure you set it up properly, there is nothing worse for a lawn than a poor irrigation system. An irrigation system will help ensure that your lawn gets the water it needs, even during times of drought.
Water As Often As Possible
Once you have an irrigation system in place, it’s important to water your lawn daily. This will help keep the grass green and prevent brown patches from forming. The best time to water your lawn is between 4am and 10am, this will prevent you losing water to evaporation. Read our texas lawn watering guide to know the best way to water your lawn.
Check For Disease
Drought can also lead to disease in your lawn. Be sure to check for signs of disease, such as discoloration or wilting, and treat accordingly. Another sign that your lawn is diseased is that it doesn’t spring up when you step on it. See our lawn disease guide to check your lawn for common known diseases.
Try To Stay Off Your Grass
Highly trafficked lawns often have compacted soil and damaged roots that make it hard to grow even without drought conditions. So when your lawn is threatened by drought it’s especially important to stay off your grass as much as possible. This will help prevent damage and allow the roots to grow deeper.
You should also continue to mow your lawn during a drought. This may seem counterintuitive, but it’s actually important for the health of your lawn. Mowing helps remove dead and dying grass, which can prevent disease. It also allows sunlight and air to reach the roots of the grass, which is important for growth. During a drought, you should mow it less often. It’s important to know how often to mow your lawn in general and even though mowing is good for it, its best to keep your mowing spread out during the drought.
Mulch Your Grass
Since grass is 80% percent water you are helping to hydrate your lawn by mulching your grass clippings. This will help hold in moisture and keep the roots of your grass cool. Mulching also helps to prevent weed seeds from taking hold in your lawn because it provides an extra layer of protection.
Keep Weeds Out
Weeds can compete with your grass for water, so it’s important to keep them under control. Be sure to pull them by hand or use an herbicide to prevent them from taking over your lawn. As mentioned above an extra layer of protection against weeds is to make sure that you are mulching your grass.
Use a Native Grass
If you’re looking to replant your lawn, use a native grass seed mix. This will help ensure that your grass can withstand the drought conditions in your area. Make sure to check the seed mix to see how much water it requires, this will be the best indication if the grass type you are planting will hold up well in a drought.
Only Use Fertilizer Before, Not During
Fertilizer can actually do more harm than good during a drought. It can cause the roots of your grass to grow shallow, which makes them more susceptible to damage. If you must use fertilizer, only do so before a drought hits.
What To Do After A Drought
Once the drought is over, it’s important to replenish the nutrients in your soil. You can do this by top dressing your lawn with compost or manure. This will help ensure that your grass is healthy and able to withstand future droughts.
Drought can be tough on your lawn, but following these tips will help you get through it! During the drought be sure you are using an automatic irrigation system, watering as often as possible, and checking for disease. You should also try to stay off your grass, mow regularly, keep weeds out of your lawn and mulch your clippings. Preventative measures you can take before a drought hits are to use a native grass seed mix and fertilize regularly.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is it better to leave grass long during drought?
No, you should actually mow your lawn during a drought. This helps remove dead and dying grass, which can prevent disease. It also allows sunlight and air to reach the roots of the grass, which is important for growth.
Will my grass come back after a drought?
Yes, your grass will likely come back after a drought. Be sure to replenish the nutrients in your soil after the drought is over by top dressing your lawn with compost or manure. This will help ensure that your grass is healthy and able to withstand future droughts.
Should you aerate your lawn in a drought?
No, you should not aerate your lawn during a drought. This will only serve to damage the roots of your grass. Wait until the drought is over before aerating your lawn.