How to take care of your lawn during a drought?
Ah the summer season! Temperatures are rising, the days are longer and sunnier, rainfall is increasingly rare... What a pleasure. However, summer is not all rosy for our gardens as the lawn can easily dry out without proper maintenance
When the grass dries up, it turns yellow-brown. Fortunately, this browning does not mean the your lawn is dead. The grass is simply going into a dormant state. By using good practices, your lawn can be reborn and green again in just a few weeks
As with our skin, lawns do best when the sun-to-humidity ratio is well balanced. With our advice, you will be able to maintain this balance and keep your lawn green throughout the summer drought
Tips for maintaining your lawn during the summer
Choosing the right lawn
If you live in an area where droughts are quite common, you can lessen damage to your lawn by choosing a drought-tolerant lawn. Kentucky bluegrass, cynodon or ryegrass are types of lawn grass that can survive with less water. They can cope with long-term droughts
It is recommended to opt for a mixture of rustic grass so that your lawn can withstand both the cold winter and hot summer in Quebec
As a general rule, a well-established, well-maintained lawn can survive up to 6 weeks without water. During dormancy, the latter is particularly more vulnerable and does not require a lot of water
During periods of heat wave, it is best to water your lawn lightly when it first grows and to water about once a week. This will allow a deeper rooting of the grass and therefore better resistance to summer drought
Watering for about 10 to 15 minutes with 2.5 cm of water is more than enough to moisten the part of the soil in which your grass develops its roots. Be aware, however, that a dry lawn cannot absorb this much water all at once. To prevent runoff, water your garden in small doses at 30-minute intervals
Avoid watering in the middle of the day
Avoid watering at midday when it is very hot because more than 75% of the water could evaporate before it even penetrates the ground. Focus on watering during the cooler hours of the day, either early in the morning or early evening. This way your lawn will easily absorb water and you will reduce the risk of fungal diseases
Good mowing habits
In times of drought, your lawn is under a lot of pressure. It is therefore recommended to mow it higher than normal (2 to 3 cm more) so that the soil can better retain moisture and therefore better resist heat
Watering your lawn during drought
The good news is that during summer you don't have to mow your lawn as frequently as in spring. In summer, you can space your mowing sessions more. Depending on the type of grass, you can mow once a week or once every two weeks. It is best to mow in the middle of the afternoon when the grass is dry
Best mowing height in the summer
Your lawn should be neither too long nor too short. During summer, it is best to mow the lawn at a height of 8 to 10 cm and leave the clippings in place to protect it from direct sunlight. For best results, increase the height of the mower blades to the highest setting. The longer the strands, the deeper and stronger the roots, the cooler the soil and the more drought-tolerant the lawn. Make sure your mower blades are sharp and sharp. It is also advisable not to fertilize or aerate during this time of year
Take care of your lawn
During the hot summer months, your lawn is in a very vulnerable state and requires maximum care to regain its greenery. In order to take good care of your lawn, we advise you to follow the following recommendations:
Limit traffic on the lawn
When the lawn is dormant, it is best to limit stressors and therefore reduce or limit traffic on the lawn as much as possible
Protect your lawn with grass clippings
This is a popular method as it aims to modify the effects of the local climate on the lawn. After mowing the lawn, leave the grass clippings in place to help the lawn stay cool and retain moisture
Mistakes to avoid when maintaining your lawn during the summer
It is true that we sometimes tend to neglect our lawn in the spring and try to make up for it in the summer. However, this is not the best idea. Here are some common mistakes to avoid in summer:
- Sow the lawn: If you want to sow grass to fix dead patches, it is best to do it in September or between the end of March and mid-May when the soil temperature warms up.
- Trample the grass: As mentioned earlier, it is best to limit traffic on the lawn as much as possible.
- Control weeds: It is advisable to control and remove weeds in late fall or in spring when the soil is more humid. You should remove weeds at least once or twice a year.
- Scarify the soil: Scarify your soil at the end of summer. Scarification facilitates water penetration and removes the dead parts of the grass. Be careful not to do this task in early summer when the ground is hot and dry. It could damage your lawn. It is best to scarify in spring or early fall.
- Apply fertilizer: Be very careful, because some products are prohibited in summer (eg triple or double action fertilizers and long-lasting fertilizers). They can, in the event of strong heat, burn the lawn. Favor natural fertilizers such as potting soil.
Summer is a particularly tricky time for your lawn, but giving it the right care can help ensure it stays healthy and maintains its dense, vigorous appearance
Need help for the maintenance of your lawn?
If you need help with your lawn maintenance during the summer, don't hesitate to contact Forever Green. We have been specializing in lawn treatment for over 30 years and our team will be happy to guide you and give you advice