How to Keep Your Lawn Healthy When Dealing with Drought Conditions
March 25, 2021
With the effects of climate change becoming increasingly apparent, drought conditions have become common in various parts of the country. In many cases, drought is accompanied by local and state-level water rationing policies, and unsurprisingly, lawn care generally isn’t considered an acceptable use of water. Fortunately for lawn care enthusiasts, this doesn’t have to mean letting your grass wither and die. A little bit of ingenuity and a willingness to change your approach to lawn maintenance can go a long way in helping your grass thrive amidst drought conditions.
Be Mindful of Your Mowing Habits
When mowing our lawns, many of us tend to go as short as possible. The way we figure it, the shorter the grass, the less often it will need to be cut. While this line of thinking is certainly understandable, it’s also misguided on a number of levels. For one thing, grass that is mowed too short requires a much greater level of care and nourishment than grass that is kept at a healthy length. The shorter the grass blade, the less equipped it is to properly soak in moisture, which can prove particularly problematic during a drought. Although the grass found on golf courses and at various businesses is kept as short as possible, it receives a much greater degree of upkeep than most of us are willing or able to provide. To avoid cutting your grass too short, make a point of never removing more than one third of the blade length.
Limit Foot Traffic
Although it is generally a good idea to limit foot traffic on your lawn, it is downright essential during periods of drought. Since drought conditions can be immensely stressful on grass, you’d be wise to avoid putting any additional strain on your lawn while a drought is in effect. This doesn’t mean you can never set foot on your grass, but it does mean you should avoid engaging in strenuous physical activities on your lawn until the drought has ended. Basically, you should avoid walking on your grass whenever possible, but you shouldn’t go to ridiculous lengths to do so.
When looking for ways to limit foot traffic from third parties, you can’t go wrong with resilient fencing. If fencing off your yard strikes you as an appealing prospect, just fire up your favorite search engine and type in “fence company near me”.
Aerate Your Lawn
Aeration can be a great way to provide your lawn with valuable moisture. In case you’re unfamiliar, this process involves putting small holes in various points of your lawn and can be carried out with a variety of convenient tools. There are automatic aerators, power aerators and even aeration shoes, so when it comes to aeration, your options are anything but limited. If you’ve never aerated your lawn and don’t feel entirely comfortable doing so, simply outsource this task to an experienced landscaping service. The right people will be able to provide your grass with professional-caliber aeration – and provide you with peace of mind.
Get Serious About Dethatching
Dethatching your grass is always an important part of lawn maintenance, but as is the case with limiting foot traffic, it’s extra important during times of drought. The term “thatch” refers to the dead organic matter that clutters up many lawns. More often than not, thatch is primarily composed of grass clippings and dead leaves. If left alone for long periods, thatch can soak up valuable moisture, thereby depriving your lawn of essential nourishment. Fortunately, thatch is fairly easy to get rid of. With the aid of a dependable thatch rake or automatic dethatcher, you should have no trouble keeping your lawn thatch-free and sufficiently nourished.
As drought conditions become increasingly common in certain parts of the U.S., many Americans have altered their approach to water usage. Unsurprisingly, for people who put a tremendous amount of care into their lawns, conserving water is likely to seem easier said than done. However, while water conservation means watering your lawn less, it doesn’t have to entail giving up on your grass entirely. There are numerous ways to keep a lawn healthy and vibrant throughout a drought – provided, of course, you’re willing to put in a little work.