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How To Protect Your Lawn From Drought

Hot weather and no rain can be trouble for West Michigan’s cool-season grasses. Here are a few tips to keep your lawn green during the dry spell.

  1. Water Early, Water Often – Watering is key to avoiding drought stress, and any water is better than none. Try to water regularly first thing in the morning. This method allows for less evaporation, better water absorption into the soil, and overall more efficient water use. A method I like to use is to try and have the entire sprinkling cycle completed by 7 am. If you do not have in-ground sprinklers, any local home improvement store will have timers that can be hooked to a standard outdoor hose outlet. Simply set the timer, connect the timer to the water spout, connect a hose to the timer, and connect a sprinkler to the hose, turn it on, and you’re good to go!
  2. Raise your mower deck – Cutting grass too short in the sweltering heat can stress the lawn. Try raising the deck at least 1/4″ – 1/2″ higher than normal to reduce the amount of grass being cut and minimize stress on the lawn.
  3. Do not bag your grass – Try mulching blades on your mower. These blades chop grass clippings into tiny pieces, allowing them to be recycled into the soil. This replaces nutrients back into the soil, which is badly needed during times of drought.

Some things to consider:
Your soil type will make a difference in how much water your need and how the water is applied. Generally, sandy soils will require more water applied quicker, and clay soils will require less water applied over a long period of time. Some more information about general watering is available here.