Melinda's Garden Moment: Caring for Drought Stressed Lawns - KHGI-TV/KWNB-TV/KHGI-CD-Grand Island, Kearney, Hastings

Melinda's Garden Moment: Caring for Drought Stressed Lawns

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Drought and extremely high temperatures can leave your lawn looking less than spectacular.

If you allow your lawn to go dormant during hot dry spells, leave it dormant until cooler temperatures and rains return so nature can get it growing again. Those lawns taken in and out of dormancy with irregular watering are the most stressed and less likely to recover.

Do provide lawns with ¼ inch of water once a month during extended droughts. This keeps the crown of the plant alive without breaking dormancy.

Further protect your lawn by minimizing foot and equipment traffic that can injure the drought-stressed grass.

And do not apply weedkillers and high nitrogen fast release fertilizers to the lawn in summer.  These chemicals can damage your lawn during hot weather. Plus, new weeds are the first to replace those the herbicide killed.

Proper fertilization will increase your lawn's ability to survive the stresses of heat, drought, and pests. Leave short clippings on the lawn to return moisture, nutrients, and organic matter to the soil. Use a low nitrogen slow release fertilizer, like Milorganite, that encourages slow steady growth and won't burn the lawn during hot dry weather.

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