Drought and Summer Heat: Help Your Lawn Survive

green lawn during drought

As the heat and dry conditions of the Maryland summer set in, your lawn could be turning brown, but don’t fret. The lawn isn’t dying. Your turf is naturally protecting itself by becoming dormant in extreme drought conditions and high heat temperatures.

When temperatures exceed ninety degrees, grass stops growing and goes into conservation mode. The bottom part of the plant closes up preventing photosynthesis from occurring which makes green grass change color. Here are some tips to prevent this from happening so your lawn stays as green as possible:

Water Your Lawn

A well irrigated lawn is the best defense against drought. Improve your turf’s survival chances by watering your lawn deeply, one to two inches into the soil, two to three times per week. Water as early in the morning as possible. To test if you are watering deeply enough, try pushing a screwdriver or weeding tool into the soil to see how deep it can easily be inserted.

Proper Mowing

Fight high heat damage with a higher turf height. Raise your mower blade height up a half of an inch from where it was during the cooler months. This raises the canopy of the turf, creating shady, cool protection for the root system. Also, it leaves more of the grass blade exposed for photosynthesis to occur. Low mowing hurts the turf’s carbohydrate reserves, making it hard for grass to recover when conditions become favorable.

Keep Off The Grass

Lastly, keep foot and other traffic off of the lawn to prevent tracking and additional stress. The grass blades are particularly susceptible to damage when they are under extreme conditions.

Some permanent damage can occur in spots where soil may have been rocky or root systems were weak, but most grasses will return to full health and vigor when the temperatures cool. Any scars left behind from drought should be repaired and reseeded. We offer aeration and seeding to strengthen the root system, enabling turf to better withstand future drought conditions.

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For more information on current drought conditions, please visit the U.S. Drought Monitor website.