How To Drought Proof Your Lawn

March 22, 2017 | Lawn Care, posted by Sasha

Grass with dew on it

1. Reduce Weeds

Besides being unsightly, weeds compete with your grass for moisture & nutrients. Stay ahead of the game by applying pre-emergent herbicides before weeds sprout. Good cultural practices, such as frequent mowing, fertilizing, and maintaining good soil health, are also key to weed management.

2. Water Smarter

When it comes to watering your lawn, the best times are between 2 and 10 am, when ambient temperatures & wind speeds are naturally lower. Instead of watering your established lawn in “spurts” daily, increase its drought tolerance by watering it infrequently and deeply to encourage deep root growth. Deeply saturating your soil also allows water to be stored at or below the root zone, which will help the lawn survive dry or hot periods.

3. Raise Your Mowing Height

Cutting the grass too short during a drought will shock it and leave it vulnerable. Instead, raise your mowing height by at least 25 percent and reduce traffic on the lawn as much as possible. Be sure to always follow the 1/3 blade mow rule, especially during hot weather.

4. Plant Drought-Tolerant Grass

Drought-tolerant grass varieties, like Bermuda or Zoysia, require less water than regular grass and are better equipped to withstand a dry season. Just be mindful that most warm-season grasses will go dormant in extreme conditions, including prolonged droughts.

5. Maintain A Healthy Soil

You should test your soil once yearly and make amendments accordingly to ensure your soil has the proper nutrients & cation exchange and the water, o2, and microbial movement needed to ensure a healthy lawn. Entering the summer heat or drought with a healthy, thriving lawn is your best way to ensure it can survive harsh conditions. Most comprehensive soil tests will make recommendations should your lawn need specific nutrients, aeration, and more!

6. Install an Irrigation System

Efficient irrigation systems can optimize water usage and ensure that your lawn receives the right amount of moisture at the right time without waste. Consider installing a drip irrigation or sprinkler system with smart technology that adjusts watering schedules based on weather conditions and soil moisture levels. These systems can help prevent overwatering and deliver water directly to the root zone, promoting deep root growth and a healthy moisture-rich lawn.

7. Implement Sustainable Lawn Care Practices

Adopting sustainable lawn care practices can make a significant difference in your lawn’s ability to withstand drought conditions. Consider leaving grass clippings on your lawn after mowing, as they can act as a natural mulch and provide nutrients to the soil. Just take care to distribute the clippings evenly, never leaving more than ¼ inch thick. Furthermore, avoid excessive fertilization, as it can increase water demand and weaken your grass. Instead, choose a combination of fast and slow-release fertilizers that promote long-term soil health, and avoid fertilizing altogether during excessive temperatures.

8. Bonus: Use Drought-Tolerant Plants

Concerned about water conservation? By incorporating drought-tolerant plants, you can reduce your lawn’s water requirements, cutting back on your overall water usage. These plants have adapted to survive in arid conditions and can withstand prolonged periods of drought. Consider incorporating species like sedum, yarrow, lavender, and native grasses that thrive in dry climates and will add color and texture to your landscape.


Remember, ensuring your lawn’s health is ongoing, and consistency is vital. Regularly monitor your soil moisture levels, adjust your watering schedule as needed, and keep an eye out for signs of stress in your grass. By implementing these steps, you’ll be well-equipped to face drought conditions and maintain a vibrant, resilient lawn even during the driest of times.

For more tips on how to keep your lawn resilient in the face of hot and humid or below-freezing temperatures, check out our blog or contact the Texas grass and lawn care experts at The Grass Outlet today.