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How to Look After Your Lawn in a Drought

By: Jack Claridge - Updated: 17 Dec 2012 | comments*Discuss
Drought Saving Watergate Busting Drought

Over the past few years in the United Kingdom the summers have been getting hotter and drier, something that can cause any gardener problems when it comes to watering and caring for their lawn.

As a result of this some parts of the United Kingdom find themselves the recipients of a hosepipe ban, which makes watering your garden something that falls short on the list of things that local authorities say you can use water for.

Of course it is sensible in these hot conditions to use water more sparingly and for things that most people would consider essential, but lawns and flowers still need to be watered.There are other things you can do to ensure that in drought conditions your lawn says healthy and nourished.


Saving rain as it falls is a good start on the road to making sure you have sufficient water reserves. Using barrels or containers is a cheap and effective way of collecting the water but it is worth considering what was originally kept in the containers and making sure they have been thoroughly cleaned before use. In the winter when there are rarely any problems with water levels it is worth making sure these containers are thoroughly rinsed and that any traces of their previous contents have been removed. You can also buy rainwater diverting kits, which can be fitted to overflows and allow the water to flow into barrels for capture and storage. It is important to consider however that, just like other types of water, rainwater can become stagnant.

Soil Structure

Depending on the type of soil on which your lawn is growing there are things you can do to improve levels of moisture. Adding organic mulch and/or farmyard manure is a good way to ensure nutrient rich soil. In winter it is best to apply these materials to your soil to ensure good soil in the growing months. Putting mulch on top of moist soil will keep it cool and reduce evaporation whilst thick mulch will help keep weeds at bay as they try and starve your lawn of its water content.

Watering Schedule

Change the times at which you water your lawn. Do not water it in the middle of the day when the sun is at its hottest. Watering early in the morning or late in the evening when there is no sun will reduce the amount of water that is lost due to evaporation. When you do water your lawn make sure you give it a thorough watering, watering down into the root system as well but careful not to waterlog it. Also it is worth watering the lawn when it needs it as opposed to watering it when you think it does as this can lead to either over watering or under watering.


When it comes to mowing your lawn this can also help with moisture levels. Established lawns can manage longer periods without water and although they may lose their healthy deep green colour they will recover at a faster rate once there is rain available. Cutting the lawn higher in dry weather is best and cutting it less frequently is also a distinct advantage.

Applying these procedures should help you get through those drier spells with the minimum of fuss to you and the minimum of damage to your lawn.

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