How do you grow a sustainable lawn when the rainfall is always either non-existent or inconsistent?
It’s been a dry summer, which means this year’s cool season is the essential time to repair and revive your lawn. If yours is one of many yards struggling from a lack of precipitation, here’s what to do:
Check for Stress
An obviously stressed lawn has gone brown or yellow with dormancy as it tries to survive the drought. But there’s also other, subtler signs of stress.
You’ll often see grass looking a little bluish-purple/gray instead of bright green when it’s starting to get stressed. If you can walk across your lawn and leave footprints behind in the grass, that’s stress. And, long spells without regular irrigation can cause the soil to become hydrophobic. This means a water-repellent, waxy surface has developed in the soil – and it’s keeping your lawn from absorbing water. So what can you do about it?
Help a Drought-Stressed Lawn
You’re already mowing high to encourage root growth, and you’re watering regularly in the early morning. You’ve even brought your mower blades in to A to Z for sharpening!
Let’s talk about what else you can do. Keep the family off of the grass while it’s stressed – this prevents further damage. And avoid the temptation to throw down fertilizer as a quick fix, because encouraging your lawn to grow will only take valuable energy away from the root system. Instead, plan to seed drought-resistant grasses into your lawn this fall!
Most grass will stop growing, turn brown, and become dormant as a natural protection method against drought. Some stay greener than others by being water efficient or tolerant to dehydration, or because they can grow very deep roots. Here are your best choices:
● Tall Fescue (stays green in winter)
● Fine fescues (including creeping red fescue and Chewings fescue)
● Kentucky Bluegrass (recovers well after a drought)
REMEMBER: In addition to blade sharpening and tune-up services, you can also buy all your grass care equipment at A to Z’s retail store. Browse our seeders, powered aerators and rakes, or ask our sales team to help you order leaf baggers and other attachments for your mower. We look forward to helping you survive the drought!