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A Brief Guide to Maintaining Your Lawn Healthy During a Dry Spell

In this area, Environment Canada says that in this part of Ontario we have received only half of the usual rainfall in the past 8 weeks.

While we haven't received any watering restrictions, they might be next.

How will you ensure that your lawn is healthy during the dry season?

 Mowing

  • Mow your lawn 3-4 inches high. This will leave grass that will ensure deeper root development. It will also provide shade to the soil, therefore reducing the rate of evaporation of water from the ground.
  • Maintain the cutting edges of the blades sharp. Blunt blades on the mower shred grass tips, which makes the lawn turn brown.
  • You may leave grass clippings on the lawn after cutting to act as mulch.
  • Mulching gives the roots more shade, which means less dissipation. It also helps the lawn retain water.
  • Trim the grass growing close to the sprinkler heads to make sure that the sprinkler nozzle is not blocked.

Watering

  • Reduce your watering plan. this wil enable you to maximise on the availablle water to maintain tha grass during the dry season.
  • Sections of the lawn that are under shade (north/east side of the house) will require 50 percent less water as compared to those on the sunny side of the house. Modify your watering plan meets the watering needs of these sections.
  • Water very early in the morning from 3 AM to 8 AM. Temperatures are cool; the wind is quiet, and there is little evaporation.
  • To reduce the amount of spill over and water waste, utilize the cycle and drench technique for watering. Space every watering cycle around an hour separated to allow absorption y the soil.
  • Make sure that the sprinklers do not water the pavement through adjusting them to ensure that water reaches to the edge of the lawn.
  • When watering the grass, it is best to mimic nature and sprinkle profoundly without sustained frequency to re-enact normal precipitation.
  • This will encourage deep root development since they will grow deeper in search of water. Lightly watered turf does not encourage root development for plants that need water frequently hence making them unable to survive a drought.
  • If your lawn starts turning to dark-blue or the grass cutting edges don't spring back after you walk on it, don’t worry. It's just a way of telling you that it needs some water to keep it going through this dry season.
  • In an extended dry season, where no supplemental water is accessible, most grasses turn brown and become dormant in a final desperate attempt to remain alive. Dormant grass is not dead, and it will grow again once it rains.

 Traffic

  • Excess traffic by human beings and animals easily damages grass that has been stressed by drought.
  • Try not to do anything that will add stress to the plant, including vigorous yard exercises and pedestrian activity. If it is unavoidable, keep it to a minimum.

 Cultural Practices

  • A lawn experiencing drought is usually under stress. This is one of those times when it's best to simply not do anything to your lawn.
  • Try not to de-thatch or topdress the lawn.

 Conclusion

Accept the fact that your lawn may not be that lush during the dry season. It will ensure that you will adapt psychologically to seeing changes happening to your lawn and be patient enough until the dry season ends.

 

by: papawemba

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