Lawn care in north Texas is challenging. Watering restrictions can make lawn care during a drought difficult. By following these best practices for lawn maintenance, you can give your grass a fighting chance against the stress of extreme heat and no rain.
How To Care For Your Lawn During A Drought
Consider Installing An Irrigation System
With ongoing watering restrictions, maximizing how you water your lawn is key. Traditional sprinkler attachments are a pain. No matter how well you adjust them, you’re always going to have some water go on the sidewalk or driveway. An irrigation system allows you to strategically target all areas of your lawn – without watering the pavement.
Water Deeply And Infrequently
You might think that watering your lawn every day is necessary to keep up that lush green color. This is not true. Even if there were no watering restrictions, you shouldn’t water your lawn every day. This teaches grass that it doesn’t need deep roots since the next meal is not far off. Instead, by watering deeply once or twice a week – deeply meaning for 30 – 60 minutes – you’ll train the grass to develop a more robust root system. Grass only needs about one inch of water a week. It may not seem like a lot, but why spend more money than you have to watering the lawn?
Reduce The Competition
Weeds not only ruin the look of your lawn – they siphon nutrients and compete with your grass. Using a selective herbicide, you can spot treat for any weeds and wipe them out – without harming your grass.
Overseed Bare Or Thin Areas
Nothing screams “drought damage” more than thin or bare patches of dusty dirty. Overseeding lets you repair these areas without having to start over completely from scratch, as you would with a sod application.
Consider Using A Native Grass
Many popular warm-season grass varietals, like Bermudagrass or St. Augustine, are actually not native to Texas. St. Augustine grass, in particular, is resource-intensive to care for. Consider perennial ryegrass instead. This variety requires far less maintenance and is hardier.
Be Proactive With Fertilizer
By nourishing your turfgrass before the onset of a drought – particularly in late autumn and early spring – you’ll allow your turfgrass to store up what it needs. So when the drought does come, it won’t be as taxing on the lawn. At Lawns-4-U, we can help you determine what nutrients your lawn needs most, and we’ll apply the correct fertilizer accordingly when performing lawn care services.
Make Every Mowing Count
You should never cut off more than 1/3 of your grass. While warm-season grass doesn’t mind being trimmed lower to the ground, drought conditions can stunt the growth of the grass and weaken its ability to hold moisture and nutrients. And if your grass has slowed its growth due to drought, don’t worry so much about a strict mowing schedule. Let the grass tell you when it’s ready. And if at all possible, avoid scalping your lawn. Scalping is a process that basically trims the grass as short as it will go. This is sometimes helpful in restoring lawns with warm-season grass, but this is not advisable during periods of drought. There’s only so much stress your grass can take.
Considering Repurposing Grass Clippings
When you mow your lawn, use a mulcher attachment and let the clippings stay scattered on the grass. This will help trap moisture. Some homeowners are worried about ruining the look of your lawn, but as long as you don’t let the grass reach 3+ inches in height, you shouldn’t have to worry about clippings smothering the lawn. And as the blades of grass break down, they will return nutrients to the soil for the lawn to use.
Avoid Water Evaporation
Water restrictions prohibit watering after 10 a.m., and for a good reason. When you water during the hottest parts of the day, you’re literally pouring money down the drain. It will evaporate faster than your lawn can absorb it. Instead, water early in the morning – between 6 to 9 a.m. This will allow your lawn to soak up what it needs, and anything extra will get evaporated off. Watering in this way will also help prevent lawn disease. If you water late at night, all the moisture will sit for hours and hours, giving mold, mildew, and fungus a chance to thrive.
Get A Rain Barrel
If your municipality allows it, consider getting a rain barrel so you can take advantage when it does rain.
Get Professional Lawn Care Near Plano, TX – Call Lawns-4-U
If your lawn could use a hand after all the drought we’ve been having, trust the experts at Lawns-4-U. Our 8-step lawn care program will restore vitality and vibrant green color to your turfgrass. Since our founding in 2002, we’ve rescued thousands of lawns from the clutches of drought stress. To learn more or schedule an appointment, call us at 972-859-0658 or leave us a message online. We hope you enjoyed this blog and if so, be sure to check out our blog page for more helpful articles on lawn care, tree and shrub care, and pest control.