Long periods of dry weather can be a nightmare for lawn care, and unfortunately, southeastern Philadelphia has faced drought in both 2022 and 2023, causing concern among lawn lovers.
Thankfully, the recent rain in June 2023 provided some relief among the turf-lover community, but the possibility of another dry summer looms. To keep your lawn healthy in a dry climate, we’ve compiled a few tactics for you to try.
There are three main proven tricks for keeping your lawn thriving throughout the year, no matter how dry the weather. These tips will help your lawn flourish even in arid conditions. Let’s dive in!
Don't Water Too Much
Don’t succumb to the temptation of overwatering your lawn in hot, dry weather. It may seem like a quick fix and common sense, but it can cause serious issues down the line.
Think about your favorite comfort food. No matter what it is, if you eat too much of that comfort food, you will create imbalances in your body. The same principle applies to lawns and water during dry weather conditions.
If we endure a dry climate and you overwater your grass, you’re actually preventing it from adapting to its environment.
Your lawn will adjust. Mother Nature does things well.
Hence, if you water your lawn with the right volumes at specific frequencies and times of the day, you will help it resist.
Your lawn is more resilient and robust than you think. Therefore, don’t risk future problems for your yard – water wisely, and don’t listen to your dad. Don’t water in the evening, don’t water every day, and don’t water too much.
Hang on – Are you watering your lawn every evening and every day?
Here’s a tip: Stop doing that!
Overwatering may seem like a good idea, but it actually causes long-term damage. Your grass can’t develop deep roots by constantly soaking the soil, making it vulnerable to dry conditions, fungal diseases, and possible death.
If you water your lawn in the evening of a hot day, water will create prolonged leaf wetness, creating fungal disease. And if you are watering during a hot evening and there are pop-up thunderstorms, then it’s even worse.
So what should you do instead?
Well, limit your watering and let nature do its thing and water during the coolest periods of the day, usually in the evening between 4 PM to 9 PM.
You also do not need to water every day. If you water your lawn correctly during the coolest part of a spring or summer day, your lawn can go for a few days without needing water. You could reduce your lawn watering once or twice per week without affecting it.
What it does is that it will encourage your grass to adapt to periodic dryness. This will naturally encourage deeper roots that can absorb moisture more efficiently. Using water more efficiently and allowing your yard to adapt can save money and help your lawn thrive.
Don't Mow Too Short
Are you guilty of mowing your lawn too short? Don’t worry, you’re not alone! But did you know that cutting grass too short can cause various issues, especially during dry seasons and drought conditions?
Don’t worry again, there’s an easy solution to minimize the risks.
Simply follow this rule: Do not cut shorter than 3.5-4 inches of the average blade’s length when mowing your lawn during drought or dry spells. Some people also skip a trim when it’s too hot.
This way, you’ll get healthier grass without the risk of fungal growth and poor soil conditions.
Did you know that when you trim too much, the long clippings can hinder moisture from penetrating the soil?
That’s why next time you mow, remember: less is more for a lush, healthy lawn! Remember the ⅓ rule…never remove more than ⅓ of the leaf blade off.
If all else fails, do not mow at all. If you can’t water, change your mowing schedule from weekly to bi-weekly, and make sure the mower blades are sharp.
Kill Your Weeds
Weed control is one great tip to apply to salvage your lawn. Indeed, we will not repeat this enough: Preventative weed control is essential.
Why do we say that?
It’s very simple. Weeds compete against your lawn. They want to gain territory and survive.
Notorious for stealing soil moisture from your grass, weeds can hinder healthy and lush growth. Take charge by uprooting them if you have a tiny surface to care about or applying an herbicide.
Your lawn will fend for itself against the weed invasion as it flourishes. With fewer invaders, your lawn will have more water and nutrient resources to thrive.
Plus, if you do not cut your grass short, your grass blades will block sunlight from reaching the soil, where weed seeds may lay dormant.
Slightly longer mowing and preventative weed control is simply right to help you create a healthy environment for your grass to thrive truly, not just survive.
Our Final Thoughts For You Only
Homeowners and lawn care professionals value a lush and healthy yard alike; however, staying truly green amidst the scorching summer heat and lack of rain can be difficult. Therefore, put these informed practices into your lawn routine or change your routine slightly to incorporate our essential key points, and you will see noticeable results.
If you’re feeling discouraged because your lawn has had some already incurred damage, don’t worry; by reaching out for help from lawn care experts, you could still find a way of limiting current deterioration instead of turning things further backward. Just think–preventing trouble is way more viable than finding remedies after it’s occurred!