In Fort Worth we like manicured green lawns. How do you manage drought lawn care during a Texas drought and with water restrictions are in place? Some homeowners have sprinkler systems, but many don’t. But proper watering is only part of the formula for success. With or without a sprinkler system there are several other things that we can do to have healthy lawns that don’t stress too much in a drought. First step is planning. Most of the work needs to be done before your lawn gets stressed out. We spend a lot of money taking care of our yards. Here are some tips on when and how to spend your money to have a lawn that will best withstand drought conditions.
Drought Lawn Care
Keeping grass green has more to do with how it’s maintained before the drought hits than how often it’s watered during lean times. Lawns are able to survive long ¬periods without water — often they will turn brown and go dormant, but after the drought lifts, they’ll bounce back in a few weeks.
Change Your Mowing Habits
The good news is that there are steps you can take before the brown sets in, including making small changes to the way you mow. Raise the lawn mower blade so you remove only the top third of each blade and keep the grass taller (at about 3 inches or 7 centimeters). This gives the roots increased shade and more shade means less evaporation. Mulching also helps a lawn retain moisture; the simplest way to mulch is to leave grass clippings on the lawn after mowing. This may require mowing a little more often to avoid piles of mulch.
Although it’s a good place to start, keeping grass green during a drought takes more than adjusting how you mow. Fertilizing properly in the spring and fall help build a healthy root system which is essential in keeping your lawn health. Lawns do not need to be watered as much in the winter as they go dormant. But, if the drought continues through the winter then the lawn should be watered occasionally.
Keeping the lawn green, mowed and maintained is good for more than your homes aesthetics — turfgrasses are good for the environment because they release oxygen while trapping dust, dirt and polluting gasses such as carbon dioxide, hydrogen fluoride and perosyacetyle nitrate. They’re also responsible for water filtration, and they help reduce erosion and runoff.
The next time your experience a Texas drought you will now know more about drought lawn care.