Protect Your Yard from Drought

Drought conditions in New Hampshire are not as uncommon as you might think.

Eleven out of the last twenty years have seen rainfall totals anywhere between 10%-24% below normal. 2000-2003 saw the longest standing drought; the drought of 2016 the most severe since the 1960’s.

The summer of 2020 has seen moderate drought conditions since June 23. These conditions, combined with a record number of days over ninety degrees, can take its toll on turf grass and landscape plants.

Massabesic Reservoir in drought 2020
Massabesic Reservoir in drought 2020

Here’s a few tips on how to protect your yard from drought stress while conserving water at the same time:

Lawn Care

  1.  Raise your mower blades to a height of 3 inches and cut it more often. Longer blades of grass will shade the root zone from the scorching summer sun. Cut the grass no more than seven days apart. Cutting off too much at once will stress turf grass.
  2. Mulch-in your grass clippings. Cross cut your lawn to ensure grass clippings are mulched in. The clippings will protect the roots and provide safe, slow release nitrogen as they break down.
  3. Deep-water your lawn every other day. Doubling your irrigation zone times and watering every other day will force the water down to the turf roots, but also allow a day in between to dry off and not allow fungus to grow. Most irrigation systems have an odd-even setting multiple programs that you can set for spring and fall.

Tree and Shrub Care

  1. Always maintain a healthy layer of mulch on your planting beds. Water evaporates quickly from bare soil. Bark 
    mulch retains the moisture and prevents weeds.
  2. Install drip irrigation. Plant roots go deeper than turf roots and need a slow saturation. Use soaker hoses under the mulch or call our irrigation division to install a drip sewn on your lawn irrigation system.
  3. Drench your plants. If your trees and shrubs are drought stressed from the summer, considered drenching the root zones of these plants once per week through September. This is the time of year plants are storing up reserves for the winter.

If you have concerns about the health of your lawn or landscape plants, please give our turf care division a call for a free evaluation. Our certified arborist and licensed applicators will bring your yard back to health in no time!

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