If you live in the Austin area, you know how dry it can get. Significant periods of time can pass with little to no rainfall, and this can do a number on your lawn. While these periods of drought are especially common in the summer, they can happen at any point during the year. Luckily, there are ways that you can keep your lawn from becoming a brown and dried out mess. Here are a few tips that can help you prepare your yard for a drought:
1. Install a sprinkler system.
Make sure that you have a sprinkler system installed before your lawn’s first summer. It will be quite time consuming to water your grass with a hose, and you’re likely to miss spots. The best time to install your sprinkler system is during the winter and fall, prior to the start of warm spring temperatures.
However, not all sprinkler systems are created equal. Some of them are likely to do a much better job of keeping your lawn moist than others. Here are a few tips that can help you pick the right system for your lawn:
- Choose a sprinkler that’s made by a reputable manufacturer.
- Read reviews of the system that you’re considering.
- Pick out a sprinkler that has a high spraying capacity, which will ensure that your grass is getting enough water.
- Make sure that the timer system of your sprinkler is reliable.
- Test out your new sprinkler system before a stretch of hot weather.
2. Use an effective fertilizer.
It’s important to pick a fertilizer that has plenty of nitrogen in it. Potassium is less important. Furthermore, it’s important to make sure that you get your fertilizer from a reputable brand. This will ensure that you’re getting a high-quality product that will effectively nourish your lawn. Fertilizers will ensure that your grass is getting the right nutrients, and this will help to make it more resistant to dry spells and droughts.
3. Ensure that your lawn is watered thoroughly and deeply.
Make sure that you choose a sprinkler system that covers your entire lawn. Furthermore, you’ll need to make sure that it sprays a large enough amount of water for the water to penetrate deep under the surface of your soil. This will ensure that your grass is properly watered.
4. Make sure that your mower blade is as sharp as possible.
Keeping your mower blade sharp will prevent large areas of grass blades from being damaged. That’s because dull grass blades may rip at large sections of the grass rather than cutting it cleanly. The best way to keep your mower blade sharp is to sharpen it two or three times per year.5. Reduce the amount of thatch in your lawn and improve its composition.
Reducing the amount of thatch in your lawn is an essential part of improving its drought resistance. So, you’re probably wondering, “What is thatch?”. Thatch is any form of organic matter that accumulates on your lawn. This can be twigs, branches, and leaves. A large amount of thatch is likely to fall on your lawn after high winds, which makes it especially important to clean up your lawn after a storm.
6. Choose the right type of grass.
It’s important to make sure that you pick a variety of grass that can handle long periods without ample rainfall. The Austin area can get quite dry at times, which makes it essential to choose a variety of seed that’s both heat and drought resistant.
7. Leave grass clippings in your lawn.
Grass clippings can actually act as a natural fertilizer for your lawn. Therefore, leaving them on your lawn can help to make the blades of grass stronger, which can improve their resistance to drought. Grass clippings have natural compounds that will provide your lawn with a substantial amount of nutrients, and it’s best to spread them around your lawn rather than placing them in one spot. This will allow large areas of your yard to benefit from this effective, natural fertilizer.
8. Water your lawn at the right time of day.
It’s best to water your lawn early in the morning and late in the day. This will ensure that the water is soaking into your lawn during the evening, which could be an ideal time for growth. However, it will also remain moist during the day, which can offset the effects of drought. If temperatures are high, it’s especially important to pay close attention to your morning watering. You may need to increase the amount of water that you use to water a lawn that’s exposed to the sun during hot days.
9. Don’t use pesticides and herbicides if possible.
Herbicides and pesticides can be toxic to your lawn, which is why you should avoid using them if possible. Keep in mind that herbicides are designed to kill plants. While weeds are the target, the biology of grass is often similar to that of weeds. Therefore, it’s not uncommon at all for your lawn to be killed by the same chemicals that you’re using for weed removal, making it even more susceptible to dry conditions. Luckily, there are herbicides that are of low toxicity to grass, but it’s still best to avoid using them if possible.
Pesticides are intended to kill insects rather than plants. Therefore, they are often less toxic to lawns than herbicides are. However, they can still damage lawns, especially if you choose a variety of grass that is sensitive to chemicals.
10. Mow your lawn often enough so you’re not taking off more than the upper third of your grass blades.
If you are cutting off large portions of your grass blades, your lawn could be more susceptible to drought, which is because a larger portion of the plants are being damaged. Therefore, you need to be aware of how quickly your grass grows, and mow frequently enough to ensure that your lawn stays relatively short. In most cases, it’s best to mow your lawn a couple times per week.
However, this depends on the type of grass you have, your soil type, the weather, and other factors. It’s best to mow fast-growing grasses more frequently, and you should always mow more often if the weather has been wet for a period of time.
Thinking this sounds like too much maintenance for your busy schedule?
Choose a premium quality company to help with your lawn care in the Austin, TX area!
Our dedication to quality and customer service is unmatched by our competitors in the Austin area. We’re experienced, and all of our employees are skilled lawn care professionals. Furthermore, we can perform a wide range of services, such as removing thatch, mowing your lawn, helping you choose a fertilizer and applying it, and installing a sprinkler system. Here are a few examples of the areas where we offer our services:
- North Austin
- Cedar Park, TX
- Leander, TX
- Cat Hollow, TX
- Scofield Farms, TX
- Wells Branch, TX
- Rattan Creek, TX
- Mesa Park, TX
- Hunter’s Creek, TX
- Milwood, TX
- Old Milwood, TX
- Northwood, TX
- Anderson Mill West, TX
- Village at Anderson Mill, TX
So, give us a call today and get your lawn ready for the next drought!