Friday, May 8, 2015

Hunkering Down With Your Lawn to Survive the Drought

So you're not going give up your lawn until they pry it from the dry parched ground it's now growing in. What can you do to help it survive until you can find a reasonable California friendly replacement? Below are a few ideas:

  1. Mow your lawn on your lawnmowers highest setting; cutting grass low stimulates growth which encourages water loss. Mature grass leaves develop a thicker cuticle (skin) which helps them stand up to drought much more readily.
  2. If your lawn is old and water runs off of it when you irrigate, rent a power lawn aerator and aerate your lawn. Aerators remove 3”4” plugs from your lawn which allow water to penetrate deeper into the soil beneath your lawn. Remember to irrigate for to runoff the day before you aerate in order to allow for the deep penetration of the aerator tines.
  3. Cut back your lawn watering to once a week for 10-20 minutes. Do not allow the irrigation water to run off, if it does, stop the irrigation and resume an hour later; if you haven’t aerated your lawn do so.
  4. Do not walk, play games on , or have parties on your dormant lawn; it is now very susceptible to physical damage and the repair process takes both water and nutrients from the grass that it needs to get through the drought.
  5. Do not feed your lawn; nitrogen makes lawns more prone to drying out. 
  6. If you really can’t stand your lawn being the golden state’s official color then you can make it green with lawn dye. It will not look the same close up, but most people view lawns from a distance.  
  7. Use this time contemplating your close-to-death lawn’s replacement later on with either more drought tolerant grasses, water saving ground-covers, or a major reduction in its size.

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