How To Revive Your Yellow / Brown Lawn

How To Revive Your Yellow / Brown Lawn

The recent heatwave / minor drought has left homeowners across much of the country with parched, brown lawns so this article is here to provide you with some helpful tips on how to revive your yellow / brown lawn. The good news is that despite the appearance, most grasses are surprisingly resilient and most can survive extended periods of drought. So although they may look dead – visibly brown, dry and limp – they’re often only dormant, awaiting the next rainstorm.

how to revive your yellow / brown lawn

To Water, or Not to Water

The best way to protect your lawn during a drought, of course, is to simply water the grass on a regular basis. Unfortunately, that’s not always an option. Most towns recommend water restrictions during a dry spells, and even if you can legally water your lawn, it might not be the best idea as some lawns may recover patchy once the drought is over as opposed to leaving it to recover on its own following the next rainstorm. 

During the Drought

1. De-thatch. To help your lawn absorb what little moisture is available, use a de-thatcher. Thatch is simply an over-accumulation of dead organic lawn matter, such as grass clippings and shredded leaves. Removing thatch is important any time of the year but especially during a drought.

2. Aerate. Use an aerator (or ask us to). This punches holes in to the lawn helping to deliver any moisture directly to the lawn’s root system.

3. Keep on mowing. Grass will eventually stop growing during a drought, but mow as often as necessary, never removing more than one-third of the grass blades. Sharpen your mower blades at least twice during the mowing season. Dull blades tend to rip the grass, leaving jagged edges that quickly dry out and turn brown.

4. Don’t bag clippings. Leaving grass clippings on the lawn after a mowing or two can provide much needed moisture. Just don’t let them get too thick or clump together in mats, or they’ll suffocate the lawn (see tip No. 1).

5. Stay off the lawn. Eliminate as much traffic on the lawn as possible, including foot traffic and lawn equipment. The weight of all this activity will compact the soil, making it more difficult for the lawn to absorb moisture.

How to revive your yellow / brown lawn

After the Drought

Once the drought ends, most types of grass slowly recover on their own. You can help speed along the process with these four simple steps.

1. Water thoroughly. The obvious first step. Once water restrictions are lifted, soak the lawn to restore the soil’s moisture and to initiate new root growth. It’s especially important to water grass that’s growing on tops of hills where the wind can dry out the lawn, and on sloped areas where water tends to run off before it can soak in. Water in the early morning before the sun gets high in the sky and starts evaporating the moisture.

2. Fertilize. After about two weeks of watering, use a broadcast spreader to apply a balanced fertilizer with proportions as close as possible to 4-1-2 for nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. (High-nitrogen fertilizers could hurt the lawn if extremely hot, dry weather returns.)

3. Kill weeds. Once the grass is growing strong, treat individual weeds—not the entire lawn—with an herbicide. By eliminating weeds, there will be more moisture and nutrients available for the grass. And as the lawn thickens, it’ll eventually crowd out the weeds on its own.

4. Return to routine maintenance. Resume your regular lawn-maintenance schedule, which should include consistent watering, mowing, thatch removal, and aeration.

Thank you very much for reading!

If you have any further questions or would like us to come and help revive your yellow / brown lawn then please do not hesitate to get in touch today either through:

or by Phone: 01299 250 380.

If you enjoyed reading this post about how to revive your yellow / brown lawn you may be interested in reading our previous post about ‘Jobs To Do In The Garden In July‘, just in case you need to catch up!


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