Drought Stress

Drought tolerance is a measure of how well your grass will survive dry spells. There are a few management practices that you can follow to help improve the drought tolerance of your lawn. The objective is to have a good quality, healthy lawn, that can survive drought conditions with little or no irrigation during drought conditions. Less frequent, longer watering will help establish a deep root system. Small amounts of watering several times a week will cause roots to become shallow and only staying on the top few inches of the soil, as a result, they are not able to get down deep enough to find water during dry spells. Rule of thumb, apply 1/2 to 3/4 inches of water when irrigating, more may be required for sandy soils, less for clay soils. The idea is to water deep enough with the least amount of run-off as possible. Mow at the highest setting, this increase leaf area, allowing for more photosynthesis, the process which plants make carbohydrates that is needed to help lawns survive stresses like drought. Three signs of wilt are folding leaf tissue, blue gray color, and footprints remaining in the grass. Follow these simple management practices for a happier, healthier lawn during times of drought!