If you live in one of the parts of the country that are currently being affected by drought, you may be understandably worried about whether your lawn will survive. After all, lawns typically depend on plenty of water to keep them lush, soft, and green. Although they turn brown when dormant, they quickly spring back to life when conditions are right — but there's a limit to how long an average lawn can survive during dormancy. Most types of lawn grass can remain dormant for a few weeks without being damaged. Here's what you can do to keep your lawn alive during a long drought:
Don't Skimp on Weeding
You might be tempted to skimp on weeding your lawn during times of drought, thinking that the lack of water will make it hard for the weeds to grow. However, weeds are opportunistic plants that thrive in adverse conditions, and a drought provides them with a prime opportunity to take over your yard while your grass lies dormant.
Homeowners often make the mistake of fertilizing their lawn during drought in the hopes that doing so will keep their lawn green even though water is scarce, but this approach always backfires and can actually kill the lawn in some cases. Lawn fertilizers contain nitrogen, which can cause a condition known as fertilizer burn that occurs as the result of the lawn receiving more fertilizer than it can process at the time.
Raise Your Mower Blade
Raising your mower blade to 3 or 4 inches creates a little bit of extra shade, which helps retain whatever moisture is in the soil. Raising it any higher than this, however, runs the risk of the grass going to seed. While you're raising the blades on your mower, take the time to sharpen them as well — using dull blades can stress your lawn because they don't cut cleanly, causing your lawn to need more water as it recovers.
Get Off Your Lawn
Foot traffic during times of drought stresses the grass even further, so resist the urge to walk on your lawn or schedule a game of croquet or badminton. Foot traffic results in compacted soil, which can make whatever moisture is in the soil even more difficult for the roots of your lawn to access. Your local landscaping maintenance company can provide you with more information on helping your lawn stay alive during periods of drought as well as advise you on drought-resistant groundcovers and other alternatives to traditional lawns.
For more information about lawn care, contact a local company.