It seems like everyone I talk to these days is suffering from a heat wave and/or drought, and their lawns are suffering right along with them. Illinois-based paper The Journal-News has some great tips for protecting your lawn in the extreme summer heat, and although they don’t describe them as such, these are organic lawn care methods.
The main tips they highlight include:
- Mow high – Longer grass blades mean longer roots, which can access deeper water sources.
- Water deeply – When you water frequently and not deeply, grass roots will come toward the surface of the soil, which means the plants will be more susceptible drought.
- Leave clippings on the lawn – Grass clippings are a natural source of nitrogen. Leaving them on the lawn allows you to use less fertilizer. When you do use a fertilizer, make sure it is a summer fertilizer so your lawn won’t burn.
- Use smart landscaping – Some areas of your property may not be suitable for grass. In these cases, put in plants that are suitable and save on both water and time. You can also use mulch around plants to help keep moisture in the soil.
Check out the full article for more great summer lawn tips.
Lawns are another matter. Whether climate change is rearing its ugly head or maybe Old Ma Nature’s just on another rampage, there’s a simple way to lessen lawn damage without watering. Just let it grow a little longer! Grass roots tend to be approximately the same depth as the above-ground blades so are more able to absorb deeper moisture.
Following are hints for a healthier lawn from Susan Littlefield, horticultural editor for the National Gardening Association, who writes:”…you won’t have that putting green look, but the grass stays healthier, and shades out germinating weeds.”
I mow my lawn at four inches, and have friends who keep theirs at five inches. Yes, it takes a little getting used to, but it’s worth it.Will you mow less? No, because you should never take more than a third of the grass blades each time you mow. It will take a bit to get used to longer grass, and it may not have that manicured look many homeowners prize, but it will be much healthier.
And unless you water deeply, don’t water at all. Surface moisture lures tender grass roots toward the surface, making them more susceptible to drought damage.