How to Mow Your Lawn When the Weather Is So Darn Dry

by Cheryl Dunn

It could be suggested that Australian mowers have to deal with more extreme weather conditions than mowers in other countries. This is particularly true in times of drought. The Australian Bureau of Meteorology officially classifies drought as being when rainfall within a three-month timeframe is in the lowest recorded decile for the region. Drought does not have to be officially declared for your lawn to be affected. Keeping a dry lawn neat and tidy requires a little more effort than when mowing your lawn in more regular weather conditions. You need to be careful to preserve your lawn when the weather remains dry for an ongoing period of time. You still need to mow your lawn, so how can you safely do so when the weather is so darn dry?

Length is Key

Perhaps the most important thing to remember is that you shouldn't cut your lawn too short when the weather is dry. There's an easy way to look at this. When a plant grows taller, its root system extends further into the earth. This allows the plant to gather more nutrients in order to nourish its expanding bulk. It's the same with a blade of grass. The taller it grows, the further its roots extend downwards. If you cut a dry blade of grass too short, you retard the downwards growth of its roots. If the growth of the roots is sufficiently slowed, then the piece of grass might not be able to gather enough nutrients to support itself, and can die. When this happens too frequently, you can inadvertently kill large patches of lawn, making it necessary to re-sod the area or to lay replacement turf. Simply cutting the tops of the grass can go a long way to preserving your lawn when the weather is dry. Think of it as a light trim, as opposed to an intensive mowing. Your lawn might not be as short as you like, but it will still be neat and tidy.

Important Nutrients

Cutting your grass to an appropriate length allows it to gather nutrients from the soil, although sometimes this isn't enough. There are some easy ways to give your lawn additional nutrients in times of dry weather.

  • Don't collect the grass as you mow. Allow it to fall back onto your lawn so it will release nitrogen as it decomposes. This is a simply way to mulch your lawn, and your lawnmower will ensure that this mulch is evenly dispersed.
  • Water your lawn as permitted. If any water restrictions are in place in your area (enquire with your local council), then collect greywater from your bath/shower or washing machine. Apply this to your lawn with a watering can, or with a high capacity backpack garden sprayer.

With a little bit of extra care, you can ensure that your lawn will stay healthy throughout any dry weather. This means that it will quickly return to its lush, green former glory once the weather normalises.