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Is a Drought the End of Your Lawn?

During every summer, there’s a drought somewhere. Going extended periods of time with no rain, of course, causes trouble for everyone; usually, water restrictions are enforced, and lawn care maintains a secondary importance as long as people have enough water to drink and wash.

For the person who loves a green, lush lawn, though, drought spells D-O-O-M. But what some homeowners don’t understand is that grass, even after it has gone brown, can fully recover. Grass systems are very smart; when they do not have water, they shut down. And a lawn can go months without water; typically, once watering resumes, the grass bounces back to its full, lively and healthy form.

But in order for a lawn to do that, homeowners have to be smart; they can’t water a little here and there. Otherwise, the lawn never goes into full hibernation; it keeps holding out, waiting for more water.

If you can water, but on a restricted basis, make sure you water your most expensive/most prized/or oldest plants, shrubs and greenery first. This way, if something does die (and is unable to recover), it’s not such a hardship to replace.

And water the grass that is most visible or in the most visible areas first (especially if you are attempting to sell your home and need the curb appeal).

The best way to maintain a green lawn, even in a drought, is to water for a sustained period of time so that water has a chance to absorb into the yard and really lay the groundwork (pardon the pun!) for a strong root system (so when lawns do have to go into hibernation, they have enough reserves to wait out the drought).

Undoubtedly, droughts are a hardship on lawns, plants, shrubs and other greenery. But a dry spell does not have to be the end of a prize winning lawn; droughts simply mean we have to be more educated homeowners about how to get the most return when working with a limited water supply.

Remember, all droughts eventually pass; it’s just a matter of making it through the dry times!

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