Spring and summer are just around the corner. This means your lawn is getting ready to handle the hot weather and drought conditions this time of year can bring. Most selections of turf will go dormant during the hot summer. Some grasses, such as tall fescue, fine fescue, perennial ryegrass and Kentucky bluegrass are at their very best while the temperatures are still cool (between 60 and 75 degrees).
A turf that is healthy can survive about four to five weeks of drought conditions without much damage, as long as temperatures aren’t blazing hot. However, if the weather is dry and hot, the turf may only be able to take about three to four weeks of stress.
Something as simple as keeping your mower blade high will help the soil under your turf retain more moisture. You should try to keep the blades between two and a half to three inches high, which will keep grass healthy while still taking care of weeds. Weeds that are able to survive in any temperature and condition may begin to pop up if you don’t do this, especially in patchy and weak areas of the lawn.
You need to water your lawn in the early morning, while the temperatures are still mild. When the temperature goes up, the extra moisture that collects on the blades will begin to evaporate. If you water at night, it can cause issues. The cool evening temperatures won’t evaporate the water, and if it remains on the grass it could result in mold and disease problems.
During the dry and hot days of summer, try to avoid fertilizing the turf. When you fertilize, it encourages the roots to grow. When the grass grows, they require more moisture. Try to put off fertilizing until the temperatures drop and the turf is no longer dormant.
How Much Water?
The sun will evaporate the moisture from the first few inches of soil. However, there may be some left just below the surface. The deeper that you go, the moister and cooler the soil is going to be. If you can encourage your grass roots to grow deeper, it will help your lawn remain healthier and greener through even the most challenging drought conditions.
Watering your lawn for a few minutes each day may seem to be helping it stay green; however, it may also hurt your lawn down the road. Frequent, short watering will help to keep the turf roots at the top of the soil line where they are going to dry out much quicker. The roots will also be more vulnerable to damage and disease if they are close to the surface.
Let the water go deeper by leaving the sprinkler on longer. Once the soil is saturated, you don’t have to water as often. This also makes the roots grow deeper and makes it easier for them to stand up to 100 degree heat and periods with no rain.
If you need help preparing for the warmer months of the year, turn to the professionals at IDL Company. They can ensure your grass looks great and stands up to adverse conditions throughout the year.