It's always a joy to see green grass in the summer, but what do you do when you're living in a drought-stricken area and it's been months without rain? It can seem impossible to get your lawn looking like it did before. But there are some simple steps that will make all the difference. We'll show you how to keep your lawn green, even with the dry weather!
Tips to Start With
What are some tips for keeping my lawn alive during this tough time?
There are many different things that people can do when they're dealing with drier than normal conditions. One of these is watering your yard more often, which helps promote healthy growth for the grass and plants. Some say it’s best to water about an inch of water per week to stay healthy and green. Another way is by adding compost to help. By using this method, it helps improve the moisture-holding capacity of the soil, adds nutrients, and feeds soil microbes.
Best Time to Start Maintenance
Water in the morning? Water at night? How about in the middle of the day? What about that one pesky question, when do I start on my lawn to ensure health and during the horrible drought months? These are some of the major questions that run through most heads when the summer months roll around. Seasonal lawn pros and most lawn enthusiasts would agree that the best time to start would be from the beginning. Whether you are starting in the middle of the season, near the end or even the start of a new season, they all agree that you have to start somewhere.
At the beginning, it’s as good a place as any to start! Preparing your lawn for the dreaded drought months is more simple than one would think, starting with the grass. Planting a drought-tolerant grass that will thrive in the summer heat and needs little water to survive. Some of the drought-tolerant grasses include: Fescue, St. Augustine, Kentucky Bluegrass and Buffalo.
One thing to keep in mind is the height of the grass when mowing. Keeping grass cut at a height of three to four inches will create a deeper root system that will pull more water from deep in the soil. Mowing too short during dry conditions can injure or wear out dormant grasses to the point where they may not come back during cooler conditions. When your lawn quits growing it has gone into what is called a “dormant stage”. Dormancy means active shoot growth will stop. Being dormant isn’t actually a bad thing. The roots are still alive, and growing slowly!
When is the best time to water your lawn? Experts say the best time to water your lawn would be before 10am in the morning and not to water on windy days. Watering early in the day provides the plants with moisture for vigorous growth during the day and prevents heat stress. Heat stress occurs when the heat gets intense or long, and the grass begins to dry and die because it can't get enough water. If you water in the afternoon, especially during summer, the heat and sun are at their peak and the plant’s water will evaporate instead of absorbing into the soil and roots. Along with cutting grass too short, watering at night is about the worst thing you can do to a lawn. When you water your lawn at night, the sun isn’t around to help evaporate the water. Keeping your lawn too wet during the night will actually encourage the growth of fungus and make your lawn more susceptible to disease.
All Things Considered
With these tips, you can keep your lawn green and healthy during this time of drought. What have you done to conserve water in the garden? Have any other gardening hacks that we should know about? Let us know! We want to share them with our audience so they too can learn how to take care of their plants like a pro.