The Most Important Drought Lawn Care Tips

Portions of the United States fall prey to drought conditions every summer. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) maintains a drought monitoring website that documents drought conditions across the nation (with updates every Thursday). In addition, they provide details for specific counties and ZIP codes to help you take advantage of important drought lawn care tips.
Unfortunately, extended drought conditions can turn a beautiful lawn into a crunchy, browned-out wasteland. Yet, there are several steps you can take to keep your lawn alive.
So, while your lawnmower rests in the garage, shed, or barn, the following drought lawn care tips may help you keep your lawn alive until more favorable weather returns.

Prepare for the Drought

Unlike thunderstorms that can pop up in an instant, droughts are slow-moving, which means you can plan ahead and begin stockpiling rainwater early in the year. For every inch of rain that falls, you can collect more than 500 gallons for every 1,000 square feet of the collection area. Consider installing a water retention system so you can keep your lawn healthy through a drought, along with an irrigation system so you can transfer captured water to the lawn.

Water Regularly

Watering during early morning hours lets moisture soak into the ground before the heat of the summer sun blazes down. This gives the grass a measure of protection.
However, suppose you have cool weather grasses (Kentucky bluegrass, perennial ryegrass, fine fescue, and tall fescue, for example). In that case, they turn brown and go dormant as part of their natural response to water shortage.
According to the University of South Dakota, “Dormancy means active shoot growth will stop. Grasses may turn brown, and some may die, but the crown, rhizomes, and roots are still alive. During this time, you want to apply just enough water to keep the turf alive until conditions improve.”
The University of South Dakota recommends giving a dormant lawn ¼ to ½ inch of water every two to four weeks. While maintaining a dormant lawn, be careful not to bring the turf out of dormancy too early, or you may drain reserves within the plant. Once the drought is over, the dormant lawn will revive itself with fresh, green shoots.

Raise the Mower Blades

Taller grass can shade the soil and keep the root system cooler, which increases moisture by reducing evaporation caused by the summer sun. Cut the grass to a height of at least three inches and keep the lawnmower blades sharp. Sharp blades will cut the already-fragile grass cleanly rather than tearing it ー torn grass will need twice as much water to recover.

More Drought Lawn Care Tips

For more tips on preparing for and helping your lawn survive a drought, look to and for guidance. In the meantime, take a few minutes to consider the cost of repairing or replacing your lawnmower.
Push mowers cost around $200, while self-propelled mowers start at around $500. Riding mowers and zero-turn mowers start at $1500 and around $4,500, respectively. Manufacturer warranties generally last only one year and cover only defects in materials and workmanship.
It’s’s business to provide extended warranties that eliminate the risk of costly repair bills. According to, the cost for a single lawn mower repair ranges from $80-$100 and can easily reach $250 or more. Upsie extended warranties cost just $26.99 for a $250 push mower for three full years of coverage, or $24.29 if you take advantage of their 10 percent off discount offer.
During that time, if your lawnmower breaks, Upsie offers great repair options. You can bring your mower to a local service center, receive in-home repair if the mower is too large to transport, or receive a complete replacement if a repair is not possible on your first claim.
Learn more about extended warranties for mowers and other outdoor equipment. Then visit the lawnmower page to see the coverage you can have for a fraction of what it usually costs to have a lawnmower repaired. Remember, too, that Upsie’s lawnmower extended warranties have no deductibles and no hidden fees. Call Upsie at 877-844-7745 or shop online to protect yourself from expensive repair bills down the road.

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* This article is over 6 months old and may or may not be updated.