How to Drought Proof your Lawn

Considering the forecast is looking a little bleak for the coming summer, we thought it pertinent to discuss ways in which you can drought proof your lawn this summer.

Firstly, when discussing how drought tolerant your lawn is, it is important to understand the difference between “drought tolerance” and “water requirements.” All lawns need water to look their best. How you water your lawn will dictate its water requirements to some degree. Drought tolerance refers to how a lawn copes under drought conditions and how quickly it can bounce back from lack of water. This difference is your lawns water requirements can depend on how frequently and deeply you water and environmental conditions such as heat, wind and humidity.

Tips for Drought Proofing your Lawn:

  1. Water your lawn correctly, less frequent, deeper soakings to encourage deep roots. If possible, give your lawn one deep soaking at the first sign of any heat and drought and then leave it until it starts to wilt, repeating the process as necessary.
  2. Add wetting agents to help your lawn’s soil absorb water.
  3. Keep your lawn a little longer to reduce stress and water loss through evaporation by shading the soil below.
  4. Aerate your lawn to allow water, oxygen and nutrients to penetrate the root zone where it is needed.
  5. Leave small amounts of clippings to insulate the soil, BUT not a thick thatch layer which will inhibit moisture penetration.
  6. Replace high nitrogen fertilisers with a potassium based one increasing disease and drought resistance.

And don’t stress if your lawn does go a little brown though. It will come back to life when it starts to rain again.