Drought and Your Lawn
When droughts occur, they're tough on lawns. The grass can wilt, then dry up and turn brown. Don't worry; your lawn will bounce back, especially if it's been well cared for. The fact is, you can take some simple but important steps to keep your lawn strong and thick, even during dry spells. Here's how.
Set Your Mower to the Right Height
Mowing at the right height makes your lawn stronger to withstand heat and drought better. For Bermudagrass, centipedegrass, and zoysiagrass, set your mower height at 1.5 to 2 inches. For St Augustine, tall fescue, or bluegrass set it at 3-4 inches. A higher mower setting allows the grass to grow deeper roots, which are better able to reach moisture in the soil. Also remember to keep your mower blade sharp. A dull blade shreds the grass, which causes it to lose more moisture than it does when you use a sharp blade.
For more mowing tips, see our Mowing Basics video
Lawns are amazingly resilient to drought. They have adapted over time to survive in extreme climates. If you're not getting rain, water deeply once or twice a week. Early morning, between 6 and 10, is the best time, since there's less wind, and the cooler temperatures cause less water to be lost to evaporation. The rule with watering is to water deeply but infrequently. For more information, check out our video on watering basics.
Timely Feeding Is Everything
A well?fed lawn withstands drought stress better than a hungry, under?nourished lawn. Feeding regularly prior to drought strengthens the lawn to withstand it better. If your grass has already gone dormant, don't feed it, since it's not actively growing. When the rain returns, feed regularly with a quality lawn food, such as Scotts® GreenMAX or Scotts® Turf builder® for Southern Lawns, to rebuild the lawn. You can find out more in this Feeding Basics video.