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How to Care for a Drought Stressed Lawn

Hot, dry weather can wreak havoc on your lawn, particularly as the summer season reaches its peak. Understanding and implementing vital measures early can help reduce the risk of a drought-stressed lawn and the strenuous efforts required to repair drought damage. This article delves into the crucial aspects of a drought-stressed lawn – how to identify it, how to repair a drought-damaged lawn, as well as preventive strategies for future drought stress.

Understanding a Drought-Stressed Lawn

Across the Eastern United States, drought has been a nagging problem, prompting even the USDA to shed light on its effects on livestock and crops. Beyond these sectors, drought can have detrimental effects on your home lawn too. Drought stress on lawns leads not only to aesthetic declines but also opens the door to multiple pests and diseases that can further compromise your lawn’s overall health.

A drought, often occurring during the summer months in hot climates, is characterized by low precipitation levels, leading to a less-than-stellar appearance of your lawn. The situation is worsened by increased evaporation rates and a decline in rainfall, exacerbating the drought stress on your lawn. As the moisture levels drop, grass tends to enter a period of dormancy to conserve the remaining water, causing it to turn brown.

How to Manage a Drought-Stressed Lawn

Treating a drought-stressed lawn promptly is crucial to prevent further damage. It’s worth noting that the type of grass you have may affect how you handle the situation. For instance, Bermuda grass drought stress might require a different approach compared to other grass types. Each grass type has a different threshold for drought stress, understanding these individual characteristics can guide effective management as well as help adequately understand how to repair a drought-damaged lawn.

1. Watering

Watering your lawn adequately is one of the first steps towards a solution. Regular shallow watering can exacerbate the problem. Instead, deep watering should be practiced, involving the addition of about one inch of water to the lawn per week. When watering, doing it in the early morning hours can reduce evaporation. Consider using a soaker hose or irrigation system to ensure water reaches the roots.

2. Grass Trimming

Furthermore, regular grass trimming is essential, but avoid cutting too short during a drought. Removing only one-third from the top helps the grass shade the soil, conserving moisture. After each cut, mulching the grass cuttings back onto the lawn provides much-needed nutrients aiding in recovery. Proper mowing schedule and height ensures optimal photosynthesis while reducing water loss. Both of these methods have been very effective when dealing with Bermuda grass drought stress.

Preventing Future Drought-Stressed Lawns

Proactive measures to relieve and prevent future drought-stressed lawns are integral to maintaining a lush, green lawn. Weekly watering and strategic grass trimming, as mentioned, remain crucial. Mulching, too, retains its importance in this phase as it aids in soil moisture retention and reduces temperature fluctuations at the soil surface.

1. Proper Lawn Fertilization

Proper lawn fertilization promotes resiliency during the drier months. Giving careful consideration to factors like the soil’s pH level when choosing a fertilizer can improve growth by adjusting the soil’s pH to optimal levels. Added to this, selecting a drought-resistant blend of grass can significantly increase your lawn’s resilience to drought conditions. Consult with local lawn care experts to determine the best fertilizer and grass type for your Atlanta lawn.

2. Reducing Foot Traffic

Another preventive measure is protecting your lawn from constant foot traffic by creating designated pathways. Over time, regular traffic can kill grass, leading to unsightly, bare patches. This effort will also reduce soil compaction, which can limit root growth and the soil’s capacity to hold and absorb water.

3. Lawn Aeration

Lawn aeration also ranks highly among preventive tips. Performing this task before the peak of drought can prevent grass stress, preserving your lawn’s health and aesthetics. Regular aeration can improve water infiltration and reduce surface runoff, allowing your lawn to better cope with drought conditions.

What to Do

Early implementation of the right measures is key when learning how to repair a drought-damaged lawn. As recovery is a time-consuming and laborious process, you don’t have to go through it alone. Professional lawn services such as Arbor-Nomics can provide expertise in drought treatment and prevention. Serving the Atlanta area, this team of professionals is equipped to help restore your lawn to its former glory. Their services extend beyond drought management, ensuring your lawn is cared for all year round. Remember, a well-maintained lawn can withstand even the toughest drought conditions, providing you with a lush and inviting landscape throughout the year.