How to Keep Your Lawn Green in Hot, Dry Weather

We’re into the dog days of summer early this year, so you may need a few suggestions for how to keep your lawn green in hot, dry weather. Many people’s lawns are beginning to show signs of stress. It’s frustrating to put in a new lawn and get it to successfully germinate, only to have it burn to a crisp. Follow our tips to keep  your lawn healthy during drought season:


Water your lawn in the morning when it is cool to allow more water to soak into the ground rather than evaporate. A significant amount of water is lost by people watering in the hot afternoon. Avoid watering in the evening to prevent fungus and disease. Make sure you have functional and easy to use watering equipment to make the process fool-proof.


Newly sprouted grass can be protected with a thin layer of mulching straw. One or two bales will cover 1,000 square feet. The straw can be removed about three weeks after germination.

A layer of grass clippings kept on the lawn retains soil moisture and fertilizes the grass. Make sure not to leave too much though or you will have problems with excessive thatch. Mulching lawns with clippings works best if the grass has been mowed regularly and not allowed to grow too long. Clippings that are wet or long tend to become soggy clumps that eventually smother the grass beneath them and can cause disease.

Keep the Grass Longer in Summer

A lawn is comprised of millions of individual grass plants. Grass, just like other plants, has a crown from which new growth emerges. If you keep the lawn longer in the summer, the blades shade the crown and protect it from burning.

Different grasses for Different Climates

Keep in mind that there are cool-season and warm-season grasses. Cool-season grasses thrive in northern areas, including Canada, and in higher elevations further south. Their main growth is in spring and fall when the soil temperatures are 50 to 65 F, and the air temperature is 60 to 75 F. Come high summer, they usually go dormant unless they are watered regularly. Kentucky bluegrass, bentgrass, ryegrass and fescues are examples of cool-season grasses.

Warm-season grasses grow best in southern regions and rev up their growth along with the increasing heat of summer. Warm-season grasses, such as Bermuda, St. Augustine, and zoysia, grow strongly when soil temperatures are between 70 and 90 F and the air reaches a balmy 80 to 95 F. They go dormant when the weather gets cooler.

Your choice depends on the region in which you live and when you want your grass to look its best. If you don’t care if your lawn takes longer to get started in the spring, but will stay green through the summer, go for a warm-season grass. However, grass hardiness varies with the type. So consider all of these factors when choosing grass seed.

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