So far, 2012 has proven to be a bit outside what we might consider “the norm.” Area’s of Ohio are any where from 7-10” below the average for precipitation. Water is an essential compound for plant growth and development. Trees, shrubs, crops and lawns all need water to maximize their functions. Below are some things to consider when dealing with your lawn.
If in the past year or so, you have taken care of your lawn by mowing properly, fertilizing, aerating, and other cultural practices, you are in the best shape possible. The best defense to a situation like the drought we are in, is a good offense. Building strong, healthy turfgrass will help your plants battle through the tough times because of a deep root system, proper nutrition, and proper grooming habits (mowing).
If irrigation is out of your budget it’s okay. Lawns prefer 1” of rain per week to stay actively growing, however if they do not receive that moisture they have adapted to season’s such as we are experiencing now. Turfgrasses have the ability to pull all of their nutrients out of the leaves and reserve them in the crown and root system. This is called dormancy, and gives them the ability to withstand tough times. Lawns can go about 3 weeks without having any irrigation.
Besides irrigation, you want to minimize the traffic on your lawn. Mowing should be done during cooler parts of the day, and excessive use of the lawn is discouraged. Once the leaf blades start growing again, the plants will be better protected from wear traffic.
If you do experience areas of your lawn that just don’t seem to bounce back this fall, that is normal. Any time turfgrass becomes extremely stressed you have the potential for turf loss. You should be watching as the season progresses to see which areas you might need to renovate this fall. Fall is the BEST time of the year for lawn renovation!
Turfgrass professionals across the country are battling through these hot, dry times just like you. For most areas, there will be turf loss and renovation will be necessary. Just remember that in the future, your best defense is a good offense and following a proper fertility and cultural practice maintenance schedule will help your lawn get through the next tough season!
How You Can Keep Your Lawn Green AND CUT YOUR WATERING BY 50%!!
Your lawn doesn't have to struggle during this hot and dry summer. Best yet, you don't have to water forever to keep it green! Our Summer Drought Watering Guide can help you save water by watering your lawn more effectively. Download it by clicking below:
Guest Author: Andrew Muntz received his Master’s of Science in Turfgrass science and his Bachelors of Science in Landscape Horticulture at The Ohio State University, Columbus OH.