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How to care for your lawn during a drought.

When the temps rise and the rain ceases, our cool season grasses in Northeast Ohio begin to struggle.  There are a couple of options as a homeowner on what to do once the lawn gets too dry.

  • Keep it green:  Water deep and infrequent, early morning hours are best to reduce evaporation and prevent diseases from spreading.

 

  • Keep it alive: Just because the grass-blade is brown doesn’t mean it is dead. The lawns natural defense is to enter a dormant state and retain moisture at the crown of the plant. You will still need to water approximately once every two weeks to make sure the crowns of the plant stay moist to keep it alive.

 

  • Fertilize: It is important not to apply too much nitrogen if you choose to not water to “keep it green”, however, it is important to have a slow release fertilizer available for a fast recover when your lawn comes out of dormancy.

 

  • Mowing: The name of the game is to protect the crowns of the grass plant (at the base). This means mowing high so the grass plant can shade itself and retain more moisture.  The lawn is slowing down its top growth so mowing should be less frequent as well.

 

  • Repair: Often with drought comes thinning of the turf, this is a good time to plan on improving your lawn with aeration & overseeding.  Introducing more drought tolerant grass varieties will strengthen your lawn and improve density and color for the next season.

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