September 24, 2014

Managing a Lawn during a Drought

Some areas of the country have been dealing with drought conditions for several months now. Such conditions usually mean water rationing and water restrictions.

This can make things tough for homeowners who want to have a healthy lawn, but also have to follow the rules for water usage.

We know lawns need water. This is why a lawn sprinkler system can be so helpful.  A lawn sprinkler system equipped with a timer can regulate when your lawn is watered and how much water is used. This helps eliminate water waste while still benefiting your lawn.

Deep, infrequent watering of lawns should allow water to reach the roots, which is vital for the health of the lawn. Ideally this should be done as soon as the lawn shows signs of stress. The problem is, water restrictions might inhibit some of these plans.

So how much water is needed to actually keep the grass alive? Generally speaking, delivering ¼ to ½ of water every two to four weeks should be enough water to keep grass alive so that it can resume growing when water conditions improve.

One thing to remember when worrying about your lawn during drought conditions is that many people overwater their lawns. The neighbor you see who constantly runs the lawn sprinkler is likely not doing that lawn any favors. In fact, it could lead to the lawn developing an overdependence on water.

You need to manage a drought lawn in other ways besides monitoring water consumption.

Avoid walking on the lawn as much as possible. Drought conditions are already stressful to a lawn so you want to relieve that stress whenever possible.

Mow the lawn as little as possible. When you do mow, mow high. Keep the level to three to four inches or just setting the mower to its highest level.


Phil Goold is a retired landscaper of 30 years. He loves being outside more than anything else, except maybe pie. He enjoys connecting with other landscapers and gardeners because everyone brings something new and fun to the table. Connect with Phil on Twitter and Google+.

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