How to deal with drought in your lawn

Lack of rainfall could cause grass to stop growing and eventually turn brown. Find out how to deal with drought in your lawn with helpful tips from Essex turf and topsoil supplier, Paynes Turf.

How to deal with drought in your lawn

Long periods of hot dry weather could have an adverse effect on lawns, and considering the recent spate of unusually hot and dry weather we’ve been experiencing here in the UK, many lawns could already be showing signs of drought damage. Fortunately, damage to lawns due to drought is usually short lived and the grass will soon begin to recover as soon as the rains arrive.

If your lawn is affected by drought

  • Set the mower to the highest setting during the summer months so that the grass is protected from the effects of drought. Moisture makes up a large percentage of each grass leaf, so keeping the grass long will keep more moisture in the lawn
  • If your mower has a grass box, remove it – the fine clippings will act as a barrier and help to protect the grass against loss of moisture through evaporation
  • Longer grass also protects the soil against loss of moisture from the drying effects of the sun and wind. In addition, longer grass will trap dew from lower nighttime temperatures and help to keep the soil moist.
How to deal with drought in your lawn

Early morning dew will help to keep the lawn moist

The best way to avoid drought problems from occurring is to carry out a year-round regular lawn care maintenance programme. Find out what’s involved here.

If your lawn has been affected by drought, carry out the following tasks when autumn (and the rains) arrive:

  • Overseed the lawn using high quality grass seed
  • Feed the lawn using an autumn fertiliser
  • Aerate the lawn to allow air and water to reach the roots of the grass
  • Scarify the lawn to remove any dead plant material that may have built up.

When spring arrives carry out the following lawn care tasks to give your lawn the best chance of surviving a drought during the coming summer months:

  • Feed the lawn using an appropriate spring fertiliser
  • Water the lawn if necessary, but don’t over water as this could cause shallow rooting and the onset of turf diseases. Shallow watering could cause shallow rooting and promote weeds, so if you do need to water the lawn, water deeply. Water in the evening to avoid moisture loss due to evaporation. Find out how to correctly water your lawn here.