How to Protect Your Lawn During Drought

Drought. Oxford dictionary defines Drought as a prolonged period of abnormally low rainfall, leading to a water shortage.  According to the Akron Beacon Journal, only 21% of Ohio is NOT suffering under drought-like conditions.  If you are looking out at your lawn and seeing overall brown instead of a lush green, your lawn may be suffering from summer heat stress or drought.  There are things your Greensman professional can do to bring life and color back to your lawn, and it all starts with a visit to  We can walk you through the steps to take to revive your lawn, or at worst, minimize loss of grass. 

Water the Lawn

Watering a thirsty or dormant lawn will help revive it.  If rainfall is in short supply, a deep watering can help bring your lawn back to green, or at least keep the crowns hydrated better for long term survival.  Set up a timer on your spigot so the sprinkler will start watering early in the morning, between 6 a.m. and 9 a.m., when it is cooler and set for the system to continue to water for 15-20 minutes per session.    The goal is to lay down about an inch of water every six to seven days during drought conditions.  For lawn maintenance during drought, or once a dormant brown lawn is revived, until rainfall returns, consider watering about a half inch of water every two or three weeks.

Mow Less and Higher does not recommend mowing away the brown grass blades.  Let new fresh grass grow into the existing brown blades.  If you must mow, use blades set to 3 ½ inches. Remember, your grass is summer heat stressed and water deprived.  You want to save it, and putting more stress on your grass during summer heat and drought will not help save anything.

Dormant or Dead?

here lawn is brown except in the shade of trees

Preventing grass from going into dormancy is the best approach, but once it does go dormant, it is time to try to reduce stress on the grass.  Carefully reintroduce water, mow less often with higher mower height, and avoid walking on the grass.  Do NOT fertilize a brown lawn.  It already is dying of thirst.  New growth would deprive the entire lawn even more. Do weed a dormant lawn but not chemically.  Many weeds, like dandelions are drought tolerant and can add stress to your lawn, as they flourish crowding out the grass you want.  Figuring out whether the grass is dormant or dead helps in lawn care planning.  Dead grass will pull out easily when you tug it with your hands.  The root of dormant grass will hold to the soil.  When it rains or you water, newly dormant grass will revive to green, but long dormant and dead grass will remain brown.  Because Summit county is seasonal, if the grass is too far gone, you may need to wait until Spring to figure out which grass will come back.  If you are not sure what to do, its okay. Greensman has you covered.  Contact us to set up your consultation.  We can inspect your lawn and give you recommendations on how we can treat your lawn for a greenscape you will love once more. 

Posted in


Leave a Comment