It’s been a hot, dry summer in Saskatchewan. And while people aren’t yet calling it a full-blown drought, the province did experience one of the lowest precipitation levels for the month ever. As you’ve probably noticed, these arid days take their toll on your yard; grass yellows and gardens can shrivel in the simmering sun. And constant watering can take a toll on your hydro bill, not to mention the environmental considerations. But there are a few things you can do give your lawn a fighting chance in this dry, summer heat.
It’s important to remember one thing about lawns – if they have been tended to properly, they are quite resilient. Even if they start to yellow and dry up a bit in drought-like conditions, they will usually bounce back when the weather changes and more moisture is present. If you see a little yellow on your lawn, don’t panic. A little yellow is ok in times like this. Yellowing is the grass’ natural defence system and, although it doesn’t look nice, it’s actually saving your lawn for wetter days.
Water regularly, but smartly
If you’re going to water you grass, develop a regular schedule and stick to it. Creating a regular moisture cycle will benefit the lawn, while an erratic watering schedule can throw your lawn out of whack. Don’t water every day or use a ton of water, but keep it regular. And don’t forget to water in the evening or early morning. If you have a sprinkler system with a timer, run it at night. You’ll lose A LOT of water to evaporation if you water in the heat of the day. Don’t over water either – the root system of a lawn will shrink in dry times, so over watering to the point that it drops beyond the root system is a waste of water.
Mow less and longer
Keeping your grass a little longer in dry times will help keep the soil cooler so it doesn’t dry out as quickly. A longer lawn can also develop a longer, stronger root system that will allow it to draw moisture from deeper in the soil.
Fertilized lawns typically use more water, so fertilize less. Fertilizing in the fall is the top priority, so if you’re going to fertilize, do it then.
Keep your equipment tickety boo
Make sure your mower is in top condition, including keeping the blades nice and sharp. As blades get dull they tend to tear the grass more than cut it, which can damage the root system or pull grass out all together.
Following a few simple steps will keep your lawn healthy and ready to go green once the rain returns.