We all want to the perfectly lush and beautiful green lawn. However, in areas experiencing drought, this can be an ideal which is difficult to achieve. However, it is not entirely impossible. With a little bit of close attention and flexibility in lawn aesthetics, maintaining a lawn during drought is very doable.
Consider a clover lawn
If you’ve ever seen a clover patch in a lawn during the summer you may have noticed it was green while the rest of the lawn was brown. This is because clovers grow deeper roots than most grasses and therefore need less water to stay green. Clover spread throughout a lawn can make it appear greener year round and during a drought. Additionally clover resists pet urine, grows in bad soil and is a nitrogen fixating plant meaning it self-fertilizes! In this case, you won’t even need to find the special four-leaf clover to get lucky!
Make the change to a drought tolerant landscape
While having a green lawn is nice, considering a switch to a more drought tolerant landscape may be more practical in more ways than one. This transition includes replacing grass with various low-water-need shrubs and Xeriscape plants that require little to no maintenance. You will no longer need to cut and water the lawn every other day – instead try planting a natural meadow that uses short grasses and flowers. These require significantly less water than conventional lawns and again, need no mowing. They also provide your lawn with unique textures and colors that just don’t come with a classic green grass lawn. This transition will be eco friendly and aesthetically pleasing!
Reduce fertilizer maintenance
In dry conditions, many fertilizer salts actually dehydrate plant roots. Additionally, the extra stimulus it puts on growth requires more water. Cut back on the fertilizers you are using on your lawn and get the most optimal use out of the water available.
Watering wisely can simply mean being mindful about when you water. Watering earlier in the morning when temperatures are still cool and the sun is low can help to significantly reduce moisture loss due to evaporation. Drip irrigation and soaker hose systems are best for saving water as opposed to hand watering and overhead sprinkling systems which lead to a lot of runoff and again, moisture evaporation.
Take advantage of ‘gray water’
It may seem tedious and extreme, but in severe droughts saving lightly used household water such as dishwater, collecting the water you run while waiting for the shower to warm, or running a drain hose from your washing machine to the lawn and trees outside your house, can be mindful ways to re-purpose water that is otherwise going to waste. Also, collecting rain water if available is an additional practical and natural way to make water last.