During periods of drought, your lawn is under a lot of stress. Without enough water, it can quickly become brown and dry, making it more susceptible to pests, disease, and even death. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to prepare and protect your lawn during drought conditions. In this article, we’ll discuss some tips and tricks for keeping your lawn healthy and green, even during the driest of times.
One of the best things you can do to prepare your lawn for drought conditions is to maintain it regularly. Scarifying and aerating the soil can help to promote healthy root growth and better water absorption. While cutting grass in late spring, let the clippings fall back onto the grass as opposed to gathering them. This slows down the evaporation of water from the surface of the soil and acts as a mulch. If you have a lot of clippings, make sure to break them up into smaller pieces so they don’t smother the grass and cause damage.
Consider using a mulching mower, which provides finer clippings and sends them down into the lawn, where they coat the soil surface and help to retain moisture and return nutrients to the soil. Additionally, soil preparation is important. If you have sandy or clay soil, amend it with organic matter to create a loamy mix. Loam soil absorbs water and holds onto it so that plant roots can absorb it over time. Finally, consider taking the “mains to rains” pledge, which encourages homeowners to use rainwater rather than tap water for their lawns.
During drought conditions, it’s important to stay off the lawn as much as possible. Avoid activities like aerating and detaching, which can further stress the grass and cause it to lose moisture.
Mow less often, as grass growth slows down during dry conditions. Raise the cutting height to let the grass get longer and encourage deeper rootings. Close cutting the grass in drought can weaken the grass and make it more vulnerable. Finally, let clippings fall back into the grass to act as a mulch and hold in moisture.
Watering your lawn during drought conditions can be tricky. Established lawns don’t need additional watering in the summer months, as they will send up new leaves once it rains again. However, if you recently laid or sowed a new lawn in spring, you may need to water it to help it establish. If possible, use grey water or stored rainwater on new grass. This saves tap water and is better for the environment. Shop our watering and irrigation collection here.
The autumn after a dry summer is the ideal time to renovate and repair lawns. Re-sow any sparsely grassed areas, ideally using a drought-tolerant lawn seed mix. In autumn, don’t fertilise or use a lawn weed killer on turf that has been affected by drought. Wait until spring, when the grass and weeds are growing, to treat. This gives your lawn time to recover and ensures that any treatments will be effective.
In conclusion, protecting your lawn during drought conditions requires some effort and preparation, but it’s worth it to keep your lawn healthy and green. By following the tips and tricks outlined in this article, you can ensure that your lawn is ready for any dry spell that comes its way. Remember to maintain your lawn regularly, stay off it during droughts, mow less often, avoid watering established lawns in the summer, and give your lawn time to recover in the autumn. With a little care and attention, your lawn can thrive even in the driest of conditions.
Due to climate change, homeowners should consider how to create drought-tolerant gardens and lawns play a crucial role in this. Plant choice and planning will help ensure you can enjoy your garden for years to come.