Lawn & Yard Care
A beautiful, lush, green lawn is sought after by homeowners everywhere. But what happens when the area you live in is going through extreme heat or drought-like conditions? Learn how to keep lawns gorgeous and thriving, even in times when water is not plentiful, by growing drought tolerant grass that will look great regardless of how much (or little) water it gets.
Summer is here – and so is a higher possibility of a drought. Have you ever noticed that even when faced with warm weather conditions and watering restrictions, some neighbors’ lawns fare better than others? It is not by chance. To be that homeowner with the surviving (and thriving) lawn, try these grass-saving strategies.
But First…Is Your Grass Worth Saving?
The short answer: Yes. A healthy lawn has many benefits, including a higher home value and a healthy play area for families. Even more important, grass has a vital impact on the ecosystem, including topsoil preservation, reduction in CO₂ levels, noise and heat reduction and a decrease in water runoff and soil erosion, which protects groundwater. So protect that grass!
Before Drought: Since droughts aren’t always easy to predict, taking the time to ensure grass is well-established and healthy from the start is important. Keep lawns in their best shape by fertilizing periodically, watering with the proper sprinkler, and mowing, thatching and aerating regularly.
Once there are signs of a drought-affected lawn, it is definitely time to switch up the approach.
Some signs of drought may include an impression remaining after walking on it, a changing of color to a blue- or grey-green tint, or a faded tan or wheat color.
During Drought: While the best thing to do for lawns during a drought is water on a regular basis, doing so isn’t always an option (both environmentally and legally). Be sure to check local laws and ordinances to understand water restrictions before watering during any drought periods. If a community has been restricted from watering in the past, consider purchasing a rain barrel that can be filled throughout the year before a drought hits.
Although it won’t provide enough pressure for a sprinkler, it’ll allow you to connect a hose to its spigot for spot-watering any struggling areas. Setting your connected Thumb Control Watering Nozzle to the shower pattern will provide the light spray those thirsty patches crave.
Besides watering, there are other ways to boost grass’s health in a drought:
The good news is, despite their delicate structure and appearance, most types of grass are resilient and able to survive extended periods of drought, even when they look visibly brown. Once a drought is over and water restrictions are lifted, expedite the recovery process by soaking the lawn to restore the soil’s moisture and initiate new root growth.
Set a water timer to have sprinklers run a couple times a week in the early morning, before the sun gets high in the sky and starts evaporating moisture.
Although a drought will likely leave lawns more thirsty than usual, there are ways to help ensure survival, even with little (or no) watering. With a good, nutrient-rich foundation and infrequent, deep watering, you’ll have a strong lawn, better armed for dry spells.
While most grasses lose their lovely green hue during the winter months or if they go dormant in the heat of summer, there are some varieties that will stay green most, if not all, of the year. Bermuda and Zoysia grasses can both stay green even in throughout the winter months.
The best grasses for a hot dry climate include Buffalo, Zoysia, Bahia and Bermuda. All of these are drought resistance and will do well despite long spells of hot days.
Low maintenance grass is great if you are looking for something that will still look nice and lush without requiring a lot of time to care for it. Some options are Fescues, Buffalo, St. Augustine and Bahia grasses.
Some no-mow grasses have the added benefit of also being drought tolerant, making them truly a low-maintenance lawn option. Buffalo grass is one type of drought resistant grass that doesn’t need regular mowing.
Enjoying a healthy green lawn is possible even when regular watering during the heat of summer isn’t an option due to drought conditions. Taking the time to research what types of grass will do best in your region is the first step to planting a lawn that will look great.
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