Drought conditions are inevitable in many areas. With the summer months come the hot, dry days with little or no rainfall. In order for your lawn to successfully thrive through these harsh conditions, it must be not only be properly cared for, it must be properly prepared.
Maintain a dense, healthy lawn before the drought moves in. Ensure that the lawn receives proper irrigation. Water the lawn weekly during the growing season. Provide the lawn with at least one inch of water each week to ensure that ample water reaches the root system. Increase the watering schedule during the hotter, dry summer months. Irrigate the lawn in the early morning before the height of the sun.
De-thatch the lawn to remove excess layers of matter and debris. Complete the process in the early spring or late fall using an aeration machine. Hand thatching can be a tedious and timely process. Allow a fine layer of thatch to remain, as this will protect the soil's moisture levels and protect the roots from excess heat.
Encourage a deep root system and a moist soil environment. Keep the lawn about 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 inches in height. Avoid cutting the grass too short. Taller grass will develop a deeper root system and protect the soil from drought conditions.
Stop the promotion of vigorous lawn growth. Avoid fertilizing the lawn during the drought period. The lack of fertilization will prevent the lawn's vigorous growth and thus reduce the amount of water it requires.
Choose to water the lawn regularly during the drought or not at all. Do not stress the lawn with irregular watering during the drought just to "green it up." If you choose to water the lawn during the drought period, provide the lawn with two inches of water during each watering. Irrigate the lawn in the early morning before the temperatures rise. Water deeply and infrequently.
Over-seed the lawn after the drought period ends, ideally towards the end of September. Use an improved, more drought tolerant seed to complete the process. Aerate and fertilize the lawn to promote a final period of vigorous growth before the end of the growing season. Water the lawn thoroughly to promote a dense, healthy carpet.