The summer months are arguably the best time of year to enjoy your lawn; with warm weather and lots of sun, everyone enjoys the comfort of their lawn during the summertime. At the same time, even though you may love the sun, excessive heat can have drastic consequences on the health of your lawn. In the past, we’ve discussed lawn complications that can result from the heat, such as brown patch disease. To prevent disease from resulting, it’s vitally important that you properly care for your lawn in times of drought. Below, we offer tips to help your lawn survive during extreme heat and drought.
How can you tell if your lawn is suffering?
There are clear signs that can tell you if your lawn is suffering from the heat. If you notice your lawn turning brown, this is an easy indicator of extreme heat. You should also look at the roots and root systems; if your roots are not white-gray and your root systems are not green, you know that your lawn is suffering from drought. A good rule of thumb is that cool-season grasses tend to suffer when temperatures rise above 70 degrees.
How much should you water during drought?
More than anything else, it’s crucial that you be consistent with your watering during a drought. When the temperature is less than 85 degrees, you want to water one inch per week. However, when temperatures really escalate, it’s important that you give your lawn two inches per week. Still, make sure that you don’t flood your lawn; if you need to give your lawn two inches per week, do so in two increments of one inch each.
General tips for watering
During a drought, there is an easy temptation to constantly water your lawn, but you don’t want to water too frequently. This is because watering too often causes the roots to remain shallow, causing the roots to get stressed and preventing them from accessing the deeper soil water. You also want to raise the cutting height when mowing your lawn, as longer grass results in deeper roots, which are more easily able to reach deeper soil water. Finally, during times of extreme heat don’t fertilize, as the salt in the fertilizer will dry out the lawn.
Drought is a natural part of summer, but ultra-high temperatures are not natural for your lawn. When you are in the throes of a drought, make sure to follow the advice given in this post to keep your lawn healthy.