Summer drought conditions can wreak havoc on even the hardiest of lawns. When it comes to helping your grass survive through a drought, persistence is key. In the West, we can expect to experience long periods of dry conditions during the summer months. These lawn care tips are intended to help you get your lawn on track to survive despite harsh, dry summer heat.
Protecting Against Drought
Regardless of how you care for your lawn, it will be under stress during a drought. Doing what you can to help it flourish despite conditions is the best thing you could do. Watering alone will not keep your lawn safe. Hold off on aeration or dethatching projects until the drought is over. Less activity on the lawn can also help the grass retain moisture and avoids damage that could be caused by foot traffic or items such as lawn chairs, bikes, or water slides.
Since your grass will most likely be under stress, defending it from lawn pests or lawn diseases is very important. Your grass will not be in a good position to heal if it is attacked by pests. Specialized lawn treatments can help protect against bugs or fungi during the summer.
Watering a Lawn During Drought
Often times, homeowners will overcompensate when it comes to watering. Over-watered lawns are actually more susceptible to disease and damage, not to mention the unnecessary wasted water. The key is not so much the volume of water, but when you water. This is important to keep in mind in order to get the most out of irrigation, especially if there are water restrictions in place. If there are limits in place, your city or county will most likely have helpful tips for when to water.
Typically, it is best to water in the early morning before the sun evaporates any moisture. The grass roots will absorb what it needs and retain it for the hottest part of the day. Most grasses can thrive off of much less water than many people think. If you know what grass species make up your lawn, try adjusting your watering schedule accordingly.
Lawn Mowing During Drought
Although you should hold off on aeration or dethatching, mowing during drought is acceptable. Keep in mind that mowing your grass too short could put additional stress on your lawn. Grass that is cut too short could become permanently damaged and unable to recover even once the drought has ended. Leaving grass blades higher will help it maintain absorbed moisture and photosynthesis. Higher grass means healthier grass, which will help it survive drought conditions.
Will There Be a Drought in 2019?
According to NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) the 2019 summer season has the potential for drought across the United States, including the west. Although to date, there are no serious warnings for western states, there are areas under watch, including Washington’s Yakima Valley area. For the Puget Sound area, Tacoma and Seattle will experience drought this summer, so we advise you to be prepared.
Are you concerned about drought affecting the health of your lawn? Are you looking for lawn care services? Contact the lawn care experts at Senske Services to receive a free estimate on care this summer.