Protect Your Lawn from Drought
Hot and dry summer weather can leave your lawn dry and damaged. Even if it rains, water
alone is not enough to keep your lawn strong and healthy. Your lawn needs additional nutrients,
like those in Winterguard® or Scotts® Turf Builder® Lawn Food, to make it stronger and more resilient to the effects of heat and drought.
If you are already experiencing drought conditions, there are several things you should do
to help speed your lawn's recovery after a period of drought and keep it strong and healthy to
protect it against heat and drought in the future.
Under conditions of stress, like extremely hot and dry weather, grass will turn brown and go
dormant as a natural survival mechanism. If your grass is dormant, there is nothing you can do
right now. Dormant grass will not respond to fertilizing. Fertilize your lawn when the rain
returns and your grass begins to recover. Once green, feeding your lawn will strengthen its
root system and give it the nutrients it needs to recover faster.
If your grass is beginning to recover from drought conditions, fertilize it now. Feeding now
will help restore your lawn back to health by giving it the nutrients it needs to stay strong
and healthy. It will also protect your yard against heat and drought in the future. A well-fed
lawn just doesn't get as thirsty.
If your lawn is green and hasn't been affected by heat and drought, continue your normal
feeding and watering schedule. A well-fed lawn maintains a stronger, deeper root system that
protects against the effects of heat and drought and uses available moisture in the soil more
Water Smart Lawn Care Tips
In addition to feeding regularly, there are several things you can do to conserve water and
strengthen your lawn. First, when mowing, mow your grass high by positioning your mower at it
highest setting. This encourages deep root growth. Also, leave grass clippings on the lawn to
recycle nutrients back in to the soil. Finally, as much as possible, take advantage of nature's
sprinkler and rely on rain to water your lawn. When rainfall is sparse - as it is in times of
drought - the best rule of thumb is to water ˝" of water, 2 days per week so that the top
6-8" of soil remains moist. Be sure to follow watering restrictions in your local
Prevent and Control Weeds
Weeds are more drought-tolerant than grass and will rob your lawn of vital nutrients and
water. If weeds are an issue in your lawn, depending upon your grass type, use Scotts® Turf
Builder® With PLUS 2® Weed Control or
Scotts® Bonus® S Southern Weed & Feed to feed your lawn and kill weeds completely. Use
Ortho Weed-B-Gon Weed Killer for Lawns to spot-treat weeds as they appear.
Beware of Bugs
In dry conditions, the amount of insects in your lawn may surge. Use
Scotts® Turf Builder® With SummerGuard to kill pesky bugs while feeding and
strengthening your lawn. And dry conditions may also send bugs such as ants and centipedes into
your home in search of food. To learn more about controlling lawn-damaging insects and nuisance
pests in and around your home, visit our Problem Solving section.
Bring Back the Green by Seeding
Droughts are tough on lawns. The heat, foot traffic, and lack of water take a big toll.
After a while, the grass shuts down and goes dormant. Your lawn looks brown and dead. Not to
worry. Going dormant is a defense mechanism for grass. When the rain comes back, so will your
lawn - mostly.
Sometimes, there's damage. If you are noticing bare spots in your lawn, you can repair these in 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.
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.