How to Help Your Lawn Survive Drought Conditions

posted on Monday, May 16, 2022 in How-To & DIY

Image of John Deere mower and Stihl trimmer

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Put lawn projects on hold.

Drought conditions are stressful to a lawn. For this reason, it is better to hold off on projects, like aerating and dethatching, so plants can hold on to as much moisture as possible.

Keep weeds down.

Weeds compete with the turf for all the essential elements to grow.

Water deeply and infrequently.

Deep, infrequent watering will go a long ways to help lawns cope with dry conditions. Early morning watering (5 a.m. to 9 a.m.) is ideal. This ensures the grass gets the moisture it needs and reduces evaporation.

Delay fertilizer applications.

Avoid excess nitrogen fertilizer during hot, dry conditions. Over-fertilizing will burn the lawn. Wait until early Sept. to fertilize when cooler temperatures arise.

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Mow high.

Set your mower height to two-and-a-half to four inches. Mowing high gives the lawn a deeper and larger root system, keeps moisture in, defends against weeds, and keeps the soil cooler.

Mulch instead of bagging.

Mulch your lawn instead of bagging the clippings. Mulching keeps more moisture and nutrients in the soil.

Maintain your lawn equipment.

Sharpen your lawnmower blades twice a year. A dull blade tears at the grass, forcing it to use 40–60% more water to recover.

Remove grass carefully.

Just as a reminder, never remove more than one-third of the grass at one time. It will cause too much stress on the grass.

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South Dakota State University 2021,, accessed May 4, 2022 <>

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