When there is plenty of rain the grass grows fast, thick, and green. But often later in the summer things tend to dry out and the look of your lawn can start to change. Some people’s grass seems to all but burn up and blow away with the wind, but yours doesn’t have to. Here are some tips for caring for your lawn when it’s hot and dry.
- Have the right grass! Certain types of grass simply do better in hot dry climates. Two lawns side by side can get the same amount of water, the same sun, the same care, and one be brown and dead and the other still be green and healthy. Make sure the type of grass you have is right for your region and your local water conditions. If you have the wrong type of grass, there are ways to transition to better grass over time.
- Cultivate strong root systems. Grass that is regularly watered and overly fertilized develops shallow roots. The grass doesn’t need to dig down deep because everything it needs is regularly poured on it. But if you develop a strong, healthy root system then the lawn will be much more self-sufficient in times of hot weather.
- Water it! It seems too simple but if the grass is on the brink of dying, a gentle watering can help you bridge the gap until the next rainfall. It’s best to water late in the evening or early in the morning to minimize evaporation. We recommend not watering regularly in our part of the country though, because then the grass can get accustomed to it. But one or two watering’s a year shouldn’t affect the hardiness of the lawn.
- Don’t Mow Too Low. It is generally ok to keep mowing when it’s dry, but you want to be carefully not to mow too low. Cutting more than 1/3rd of lawn’s height at any time can shock the lawn, and when weather conditions are harsh, that can have an even bigger negative impact. If the grass is growing you can and should keep mowing, just be careful not to mow too low. What people often do is go out for their regular mow and they notice their regular height setting isn’t doing much because the grass hasn’t grown much. So they mow it lower. It’s better to just to take a little off the top than to drop the mower deck down extra low.
These tips should be helpful no matter where you live, but they are specifically geared to our area. In some places you may need to water your lawn 3 times a week in the summer if you want to have a lawn at all. That is ok, it’s just part of life in those areas.