Drought can happen in both winter and summer and can be devastating to your lawn. The harmful effects of drought in any season can be reduced, if not eliminated with a proper lawn maintenance program. Healthy turf will withstand times of stress better than grass that is not well established.
The Best Grass
Understanding the best type of grass to plant is essential to maintaining a healthy, vigorous lawn. If you live in a temperate climate it is best to choose a warm season grass such as Bermuda, St. Augustine or zoysia. Cool season grasses fair best in places where temperatures are cooler and include popular varieties such as Kentucky bluegrass, red fescue and perennial rye grass.
For dry weather lawn care, regularly water your lawn and give it a generous amount. If you are concerned about the costs involved with watering your lawn, try using rainwater or waste water from your home such as bath water. In order for lawns to stay green and healthy they need about 1 inch of water per week.
Never water during the hottest parts of the day. Sunlight is magnified through water and can scorch and burn your lawn. The best time to water is in the early morning.
TIP: Our expert gardening advisor, Susan Patterson adds, "Be careful not to overwater your lawn as it will have a difficult time setting roots and will encourage the growth of weeds."
Fertilizer is available in two types, liquid and granular. Liquid fertilizers need to be applied every 2 to 3 weeks during the growing season. Granular fertilizers, applied with a spreader, can be either slow release or quick release and require watering after application. Do your research regarding the best fertilizer for your turf type.
A healthy lawn will push weeds out of the way. Apply a pre-emergent weed killer in early spring before the lawn takes off for the season. Organic weed control measures such as gluten cornmeal are safe for pets and children and offer an alternative to toxic products.
Most grasses have a recommended mowing height range. Be sure that you know the range for your grass. During times of drought or other stressful conditions, keep on the upper end of the range.
TIP: Sysan suggests, "Always leave your grass clippings on your lawn. They provide valuable nutrients needed for lawn health."