We understand the panic of Central Indiana lawn owners when their lush grass suddenly appears brittle and brown. Often, our customers are fearful that their lawn is dying. It’s no wonder they assume their lawn is a goner; Currently, one-third of Indiana, including many of our customer’s areas like Marion County, Madison County, and Hamilton County, is in a severe drought! Thankfully, a brown lawn doesn’t mean a dead lawn. Droughts can push your lawn into dormancy, leaving it looking frail and dry. But by following proven watering best practices, you’ll see your yard bounce back after the drought. So let’s learn how to protect your lawn from the effects of drought and preserve a healthy turf.
Climate conditions and your Indiana lawn.
July is consistently a hazardous time for Indiana lawns. Last year, residents also struggled through a moderate drought that kept their lawns weakened. As of June 27, 2023, 4.6 million Indiana residents are experiencing similar drought conditions. With minimal precipitation and hot weather, keeping up with enough lawn watering to maintain its vibrant green color can be challenging. Since Indiana has a history of drought and dry summer weather, preparing for its impact is paramount.
Understanding the watering needs of your lawn.
Water is essential to your lawn’s health, so how can you keep your grass alive in a drought? First, you must start by understanding your turf’s basic watering needs. Like all living things on earth, your grass needs water to survive. It aids in photosynthesis and transporting nutrients from the soil and up through the roots. Without proper watering, your grass will weaken and wilt in the dry heat. So let’s discuss the five ways you can ensure your lawn perseveres through the summer drought.
5 watering best practices recommended by our lawn care experts.
1. Keep an eye on your landscape.
The first signs of drought damage can be hard to catch if you’re not looking. We recommend having a keen eye on your entire yard to catch early signs of dehydration. Turfgrass isn’t the only plant affected by less rain; Parched ornamental plants will also appear wilted and drooping and require extra watering. Consider your entire landscape’s vitality when a drought is in your area.
2. Water between 4 a.m. and 10 a.m.
Carefully choosing your watering time can improve the efficiency of your watering. We recommend watering from 4 a.m. to 10 a.m. to avoid evaporation from the summer heat. These peak cool times throughout the day will ensure that your soil soaks up as much moisture as possible. If you simply can’t water in the morning, the second best time is at night. Overall, do your best to avoid watering under the sun and in the midday heat.
3. Give your lawn at least 1 inch of water a week.
When drought hits your area, keeping up with the 2-3 inches of watering your grass needs to look lush can be tough. While maintaining a soft and vibrant lawn is ideal, it might not be feasible, especially when conserving water. Your lawn can survive with only an inch of water per week, so provide an inch at a minimum. If you give your lawn an inch of water per week, it’s more likely to recover quickly when the drought passes.
4. Maintain soil moisture.
Central Indiana’s natural clay soil shrinks in drought conditions and compacts the root system, so it’s critical to water your landscape thoroughly. Otherwise, rain from brief summer storms won’t penetrate the soil and will simply run off. If you’re unsure how to check your soil moisture level, simply sticking your finger 2-3 inches into the earth will help you determine its moisture content. Otherwise, a more accurate method is to use a moisture meter to detect the soil’s water content percentage at the grass root’s level. Finally, keeping a watering schedule will help preserve your soil’s moisture levels and improve your grass root’s water uptake.
5. Water deeply and infrequently.
One of the most essential lessons in lawn care is to water deeply but infrequently. This rule of thumb greatly benefits your grass’s health and appearance. Frequent, shallow watering causes various pesky problems, such as mold growth and pests. Comparatively, occasional and heavy watering soaks throughout every soil layer. This method prevents diseases, deters weeds, and encourages thick grass growth.
Overcoming watering challenges in Indiana.
Drought conditions are frustrating, but there are some ways to overcome the challenges of a dry climate. Our five best watering practices help maintain a healthy lawn, but watering technology, conservation efforts, and your local lawn care company will also come in handy.
Watering technology and tools make the process less time-consuming and more effective. If you have a large lawn, watering can be a hassle. But specialized equipment like a Rain Train or traveling water sprinkler can minimize watering time. Plus, they’re excellent at providing uniform coverage and conserving water by sprinkling low to the ground. Oscillating sprinklers are also a homeowner favorite and can be set on a timer to water early in the morning.
Water conservation efforts are also necessary during a drought. Did you know that 50 to 70% of all drinking water in Central Indiana is used for watering lawns? In droughts, this percentage increases and stresses the local water distribution system. While a green lawn is a priority for many homeowners, it can be costly and wasteful to water improperly during a drought. In addition to your routine watering, consider adding mulch to your landscaping beds to retain soil moisture and reduce evaporation. In addition, keep your water costs low by running your irrigation system at the coolest time of day and minimizing your water usage indoors.
Finally, if dealing with drought overwhelms you and your turf, never hesitate to contact your local Indiana lawn care team for help. Lawn care experts are trained to diagnose and treat even the toughest situations. So if you’re concerned about your lawn’s vitality in this summer’s drought, call on us to handle the situation.
Beat the heat with our watering best practices.
Brooklawn Services is dedicated to providing residents of Indiana with effective lawn care services for a thriving yard. With offices in Indianapolis and Muncie, our team is ready to help any lawn in need. Ready to level up your lawn? Call 888.794.9555 or contact us here for stellar Central Indiana lawn care. For more tips and tricks from the experts, visit our blog.