Large portions of the US, especially the southeast, have experienced a record heatwave in the early to mid- part of June. Long stretches of 90o+ temperatures, along with exceptionally dry conditions have resulted in water restrictions and severe damage to plants, never mind the hazards for people and animals!
So how do you manage and protect a lawn under such conditions? Here are a few pointers for giving your turfgrass the best chance to recover.
Unless water restrictions are in effect, the best option is deep watering as needed. Water in the mornings before the temperature rises.
As drought stress increases, growth rate decreases. It is best to avoid mowing grass in this condition, or if you do, be sure to follow the one-third rule and mow with sharp blades to prevent extra stress.
Weed/pest control, disease treatment and fertilizers are not best suited to these conditions. Check with a lawn professional if you have questions about treatments while grass is under stress, as they may create more problems than they solve.
It is not necessarily a bad thing for your grass to go dormant in this situation. If you’re unable to water, allowing grass to go dormant can protect it until rain returns or watering is allowed again.