Is there a specific type of fertilizer I should use to help speed up recovery?
There are a lot of different types of fertilizers on the market. For the best recovery from drought and the stress of summer, make sure you put down a fertilizer that has balanced nutrition in proportion to what the plant needs. Scotts® Turf Builder® Winterguard® provides the proper amount of nitrogen to help your grass recover from drought stress and the proper amount of potassium to strengthen the lawn prior to winter.
What can I do to save my lawn?
Don't give up! Grass is amazingly resilient. When your lawn is stressed by heat and lack of water, it uses more nutrients than normal, often giving it a yellow, thin appearance. It is essential to feed your lawn with a lawn fertilizer designed to help your lawn recover from heat and drought such as Scotts® Turf Builder® WinterGuard®.
Won't fertilizer burn my lawn?
This is a common question and is frequently asked because a lot of fertilizers used in the past could potentially burn your lawn if applied without water or when temperatures where high. Scotts® line of straight lawn fertilizers are guaranteed not to burn your lawn when used as directed.
Why shouldn't I just wait until the drought is over to worry about my lawn?
Waiting until the drought is over may seem like a good option; however, if you can still irrigate your lawn, starting to get your lawn on the path to recovery now is an important step. If your lawn continues to use up what's left of its nutrients, the damage will continue to get worse and could lead to more work in the long run. Don't wait until it's too late and you're left having to sod, plug, or seed your entire lawn next year; feed your lawn now to help it recover.
Isn't watering enough to save my lawn?
Watering your lawn deep and infrequently is one of the most essential things you can do to help your lawn to survive the drought. However, just like people need food to grow and have energy, so does your lawn. Feeding your lawn with a lawn fertilizer helps to make the most of your watering and provides the essential nutrients that help your lawn stay dense, green, and able to withstand most of what Mother Nature has to throw at it. Applying a fertilizer such as Scotts® Turf Builder® Winterguard will help your lawn recover from the drought and came back strong next spring.
Isn't spring the best time to feed my lawn ? shouldn't I wait until then?
Spring is a great time to feed your lawn, but fall is even better. Fall is actually one of the most beneficial times to feed your lawn because it?s when grass stores nutrients in preparation for winter. If you haven't fed your lawn since spring, your lawn may be depleted of essential nutrients trying to survive the stress of summer. So feed it this fall to help replenish all the essential nutrients your lawn used up this summer trying to survive the drought.
How do I know if my grass is dead or dormant?
Most grasses can go dormant for extended periods of time in order to survive when it gets extremely hot and dry. However, some grasses do it better than others. For the most part, if you have been irrigating your lawn at least every other week throughout the drought, there is a good chance that it will survive. But if your lawn is extremely thin, and has no green material left, it may be past the point of no return and reestablishing your lawn early this fall may be a good option.
Are there grass types that better tolerate drought?
Yes, certain grasses are better at tolerating drought. There are two types of grasses, warm season (St. Augustinegrass, Bermudagrass, Zoysiagrass, Centipedegrass, Buffalograss, and Bahiagrass) and cool season (Tall Fescue, Fine Fescue, Bluegrass, Ryegrass). In the southern part of the US, warm season grasses are going to tolerate drought and heat better than cool season grasses. But certain warm season grasses do better depending on the conditions. St. Augustinegrass does the best if an area is highly shaded, while Bermuda and Buffalo grasses do very well in the full sun. It's important to assess the area that the grasses will be growing to decide which grass is the most appropriate for your lawn.
How much should I be watering my lawn?
During the heat of the summer, the average warm season grasses needs approximately 1 inch of water per week applied through irrigation. If rain is received, then reduce the amount of irrigation applied accordingly. Now, as the seasons change and it becomes cooler, begin to apply less water as your lawn is using less either by running your sprinklers for less time, or by spacing out the days between watering your lawns.
What time of day is best for watering my lawn?
The best time to water your lawn is in the early morning hours between 4 and 10 am. If you water late at night, the lawn stays wet longer and has an increased chance of getting a disease or fungus. If you water during the heat of the day, a portion of the irrigation applied will be evaporated. Early morning is the coolest time of the day and usually the time of day when little or no wind to blow the water away from your lawn.
How long should I water each time?
You want to water long enough each time you irrigate to thoroughly wet the top 6-8 inches of the soil without causing water to runoff into the gutters or the street. Try to put down at least a half an inch of water each time you irrigate. To determine how much water you put out with your sprinklers, set out several cans throughout your yard (similar to a tuna fish can), turn on your sprinklers for 10 minutes and measure the depth of water in the cans. You can determine the amount of water your sprinklers will put out in an hour by multiplying the number obtained by 6. Once you've determined how much your sprinklers put out, set them to run long enough to put out at least ½ inch every time they run and apply approximately 1 inch per week. As the fall continues and temperatures begin to fall, reduce the amount you irrigate by half.
Does it need to rain for me to apply fertilizer?
No, as long as you can actively irrigate your lawn, it is okay to apply fertilizer. In fact, feeding your lawn will help your lawn tolerate the drought and recover better by providing essential nutrition necessary to fill in thin spots in your lawn.
Do I need to water-in my fertilizer?
No, it is not necessary if there is rain in the near future. However, irrigating your fertilizer after applying it will help incorporate it into the soil and allow your lawn to start utilizing the essential nutrition applied with the fertilizer.
I need to replace large areas of my lawn ? how do I do that?
If large areas of your lawn have been devastated and you need to replace sections of your lawn, there are several simple steps to take to make sure your lawn is healthy and gets off to a great start. First, if you lawn has been invaded by weeds during the drought, you may need to remove them by applying a non-selective weed control product such as Roundup® Weed & Grass Killer. After treating your weeds, for large areas, you may need to rent a soil tiller from your local hardware store and till in the existing dead lawn and weeds into the soil and rake smooth. Next, add organic matter by applying a 1 inch layer of Scotts® Turf Builder® Lawn Soil® and seed, sod, or plug your grass directly into the new soil. Last, apply Scotts® Starter® Brand Fertilizer to ensure that your sod, seed, or plugs have the nutrients necessary to get off to a great start.
I have dead spots in my lawn ? how can I fix those?
If you are noticing bare spots in your lawn, you can repair them in just 3 simple steps with Scotts® Turf Builder® EZ Seed.
- Simply prep the area by raking to remove dead grass and loosen the hard soil. This will help the tiny seedlings root.
- Next, evenly apply EZ Seed® to the area so it is mostly covered and bare ground is still visible.
- Last step is the key to success, a deep thorough initial watering then continue to water daily keeping the seedlings moist until the grass reaches regular mowing height.
My lawn is thinning and uneven, how can I fix this?
If your lawn is thinning in larger areas, you may want to reseed. Reseed your lawn by removing any dead material with light raking and replanting with a mix of heat- and drought-tolerant grasses. The best time to repair drought damaged lawns is in the fall. For the ultimate seeding success apply Scotts® Starter® Fertilizer to encourage thick turf and root development to make your lawn stronger and thrive faster.
I'm under water restrictions, what can I do for my lawn?
If you're under water restrictions, there are still things you can do to ensure your lawn survives. First, make the most of the water you apply. Make sure you irrigate early in the morning to reduce evaporative losses. Second, water deep and less frequent to make sure the water you apply gets deep in the soil and reduce evaporation losses. And third, if you can still irrigate at least once a week, feed your lawn with a fertilizer that provides the essential nutrients to help your lawn withstand the drought and recover as temperatures and conditions improve such as Scotts® Turf Builder® Winterguard.
How do I make sure my new sod survives the drought?
Preparing your soil properly before laying the sod is the first step. Adding or incorporating a layer of Scotts® Turf Builder® Lawn Soil® before laying your sod will provide organic matter and slow-release fertilizer to help your newly establishing sod get the nutrients it needs. New sod does not have a deep root system, so you need to water new sod frequently to ensure it doesn't dry out. When hot and dry, water 1-2 times per day applying approximately ¼ inch of water a day to ensure your investment is a success.
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