Tips for Lawn Maintenance During a Drought

June 12, 2023


Tips for Lawn Maintenance During a Drought

Maintaining a healthy and vibrant lawn can be challenging, especially during drought. However, with the right strategies and practices, you can ensure the longevity & beauty of your property, even in dry conditions. In this topic, we will explore various tips and techniques for lawn maintenance during a drought, helping you keep your lawn healthy and thriving.

Watering Techniques

Efficient watering is essential during a drought to conserve water and ensure your lawn receives adequate hydration. Consider the following techniques:

Efficient watering schedule

Adjust your watering schedule to align with the specific needs of your lawn. For example, watering deeply and infrequently is generally more effective than frequent shallow watering. This encourages more profound root growth, making grass resilient to drought conditions.

Proper watering techniques

Water your ground early in the morning or late evening when temperatures are cold. This reduces evaporation and allows the grass to absorb moisture effectively. Avoid watering during windy conditions, which can cause water wastage and uneven distribution.

Use of moisture-retaining products

Use moisture-retaining products such as hydrogels or organic mulches to help the soil retain moisture. These products can enhance water absorption and reduce watering frequency, promoting water conservation.

Lawn Care Practices

Appropriate lawn care practices can significantly contribute to its health and vitality during a drought. Here are some essential rules:

Proper mowing height

Increase the cutting height of your lawnmower to ensure a longer length of grass is maintained. Taller grass shades the soil, reducing moisture loss through evaporation. It also promotes more profound root growth, improving the lawn’s ability to withstand drought.

Mulching to conserve moisture

Spread a layer of biotic mulch, such as shredded leaves or grass clippings, around the perimeter of your grass. Mulching helps retain wetness in the soil, prevents weed growth, and moderates soil temperature.

Avoiding excessive foot traffic

During a drought, the grass is more susceptible to damage caused by foot traffic. Minimize walking or playing on the lawn, especially when it’s dry. Redirect foot traffic to designated paths or areas to avoid unnecessary stress on the grass.

Soil Management

Maintaining healthy soil is crucial for a drought-resistant lawn. Implement the following soil management techniques:

Aerating the soil

Regularly aerate your lawn to improve soil compaction. Aeration allows water to penetrate deeper into the soil, promoting root growth and enhancing water absorption. This also improves nutrient uptake, further supporting the overall health of your lawn.

Applying organic matter

Add organic matter, such as fertilizer and well-rotted manure, to your soil. Organic matter improves soil structure, enhances moisture retention, and provides essential nutrients to the grass. This helps the lawn withstand drought conditions more effectively.

Monitoring soil moisture levels

Regularly monitor the wetness levels of your soil. Use a soil moisture meter or perform a simple soil moisture test by inserting a screwdriver into the ground. If the soil is dry, it’s an indication that watering is needed. Monitoring soil moisture helps prevent overwatering or underwatering your lawn.

Choosing Drought-Tolerant Grass Varieties

Consider planting or overseeding your lawn with drought-tolerant grass varieties. Some grass species, such as Bermuda grass, buffalo grass, or tall fescue, are naturally more resilient to drought conditions. Consult with a local lawn expert or nursery to determine your region’s most suitable grass varieties.

Additional Tips

Here are some additional tips to further enhance your lawn’s drought resistance:

Reducing or eliminating fertilizer use

During a drought, reducing or eliminating the use of fertilizers is advisable. Fertilizers can stimulate growth and increase water requirements, putting additional stress on your lawn. Instead, focus on other maintenance practices to support the health of your grass.

Weed control methods

Weeds compete with grass for water & nutrients, making it even more challenging for your lawn to survive during a drought. Implement effective weed control methods, such as manual removal or targeted herbicide application, to prevent weeds from overtaking your yard.

Shade management

Provide temporary shade to your lawn during the hottest parts of the day. Achieve this by utilizing shade cloth, strategically positioning umbrellas, or setting up temporary structures for shelter and protection. Shade reduces water evaporation and minimizes stress on the grass.


Maintaining a healthy and lush lawn during a drought requires careful attention and proper practices. Following the ways outlined in this article can help your property thrive even in dry conditions. Efficient watering techniques, appropriate lawn care practices, soil management strategies, and choosing drought-tolerant grass varieties are vital to keeping your lawn resilient and beautiful throughout a drought.


Q: What is the optimal watering frequency for my lawn during a drought?

A: Adjust your watering schedule profoundly and infrequently, aiming for about 1 inch of water per week. The frequency may vary depending on factors such as soil type, grass species, and weather conditions.

Q: Can I water my lawn during water restrictions imposed during a drought? 

A: It’s important to follow local water restrictions and regulations during a drought. Check with your local officials to determine the specific guidelines for watering your lawn.

Q: Are there any specific signs that indicate my lawn needs watering during a drought? 

A: Signs of drought stress include grass blades turning a dull grayish-blue color, wilting or curling, and footprints remaining visible on the lawn. If you notice these signs, it’s a sign that your lawn needs watering.

Q: Is it better to water my lawn during the day or night during a drought? 

A: For best results, it is generally advised to water your lawn in the AM or PM. This allows the water to efficiently penetrate the soil while minimizing evaporation caused by high temperatures.

Q: Can I use recycled or gray water to irrigate my lawn during a drought? 

A: Using recycled or greywater can be a viable option for irrigation during a drought. However, it is crucial to comply with local regulations and verify that the water you use is safe for your lawn, avoiding any potential harm.

Q: Should I continue mowing my lawn during a drought? 

A: It’s important to continue mowing your lawn during a drought but adjust the cutting height to a slightly higher setting. Taller grass provides shade to the soil, reducing moisture loss.

Q: What can I do to prevent weeds from taking over my lawn during a drought? 

A: Implement weed control methods such as hand-pulling weeds, applying pre-emergent herbicides, or using targeted herbicides. Maintaining a lawn through proper watering & other maintenance practices also helps prevent weed growth.

Q: Are there any grass varieties that are more drought-tolerant? 

A: Yes, certain grass varieties, such as Bermuda grass, buffalo grass, and tall fescue, have better drought tolerance. Consult with a local lawn expert or nursery to determine the most suitable grass varieties for your region.

Q: Should I continue fertilizing my lawn during a drought? 

A: It’s generally advisable to reduce or eliminate fertilizer use during a drought. Fertilizers can stimulate growth and increase water requirements, which can put additional stress on your lawn.

Q: Can I still overseed my lawn during a drought? 


A: Overseeding during a drought can be challenging as the germinating seeds require adequate moisture. It’s generally better to wait until more favorable conditions or consider overseeding in the fall when temperatures and moisture levels are more suitable.

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