Care During Drought
heat and dry conditions can leave lawns wilted and browning. Watering
improperly during drought can result in a less-than-healthy lawn.
The way you manage your lawn will influence the amount of water
required to keep it healthy. Increased nitrogen fertilization and
thatch build up increase the amount and frequency of irrigation needed.
|Raise Mower Height
During dry periods, raise the mowing height and mow with a frequency in
which no more than a third of the leaf tissue is removed. Raising the
mowing height will allow the grass to maintain a deeper root system,
thereby helping the grass to find more water.
Thatch is plant material between the soil surface and leaves of the
turf. A thick thatch layer will increase run-off and encourage a
shallow root system. You may need to dethatch your lawn if the thatch
layer is thicker than half an inch. Aeration will also help slow down
thatch development, increase water infiltration and reduce run-off.
Irrigate your lawn efficiently and effectively to get the most benefit
from the water you're using. Irrigate when you see the signs of
moisture stress — a dull and blue-green color, folded leaf
wilted blades or when your family's footprints remain visible in the
Water also needs to be applied at the correct time to achieve the best
results. Try to wait to water turf until just before wilt occurs.
The ideal time to water your lawn is before sunrise, but this is not
easily accomplished unless you have an automatic sprinkler system or
you are an early riser. If you can't wake before sunrise, water your
lawn between midnight and 10 a.m.
Water loss at night from irrigation is 50 percent less than from midday
irrigation. Irrigating after dew develops will not increase disease
problems because wet grass is wet grass — no matter how much
applied. In contrast, if you water before dew forms or after the dew
has dried from the morning sun, this will extend the period of time
when your lawn is wet and may enhance disease development.
Much to Water
Frequent, light irrigations produce shallow root systems, so soak the
soil to a depth of 6 to 8 inches. This will require about a half to an
inch of water. Applying water to this depth will help prevent the roots
from staying near the soil surface and will force them to grow deeper
as the soil surface begins to dry out.
Lawn Tools and Equipment
Lawn Mowers and Yard Supplies
Cutting Lawn Care Costs
Spring Lawn Mower Maintenance