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Recover Your Lawn After a Drought

Recover Your Lawn After a Drought

If your lawn has been punished by heat and drought, don't feel helpless. Use the coming months as an opportunity to help your lawn recover. Take a few steps now to ensure that your lawn will once again be the envy of the neighborhood.

Restore Your Lawn

1. Set Your Mower at the Right Height

Mow at the right height to make your lawn stronger, help it to develop deeper roots, and help it fill in and recover better from heat and drought.

  • Bermuda / Zoysia / Centipede: Mower height at 1 1/2 to 2 inches
  • St. Augustine / Buffalo / Fescues: Mower height at 3 to 4 inches

2. Be Smart With Your Water

Adjust your watering practices to get the most out of your irrigation application. Be aware of watering restrictions and local ordinances in your area.

  • Begin to increase the length of time you irrigate, because the grass uses more water as the temperatures rise.
  • Water deeply once or twice a week if rain isn't in the forecast.
  • Water in the early morning (4 a.m. to 10 a.m. is the best time) because there's less wind and temperatures are cooler.
  • Listen for the weekly weather forecast. Don't water if rain is on the way or likely.

3. Timely Feeding Is Everything

Proper feeding will help your lawn recover and fill in bare spots better than watering alone. Feeding your lawn with a fertilizer developed for grass helps to replenish the energy and nutrients that were lost during that stressful drought period.

4. Use the Right Type of Grass

If you've lost substantial amounts of your lawn and want to replant, use the right type of grass for your climate. Certain grass types can tolerate long, dry spells better than others, so it's important to know their limitations and how far they can go without water.

Grass Type

Drought Tolerance


St. Augustine


Doesn't survive well if it goes dormant, but has an extensive root system that's efficient at finding water


Moderate - High

Able to survive drought well by going dormant or shutting down nonessential growth when under water stress


Moderate - High

Certain varieties are very drought-tolerant, and some are low to moderately tolerant of drought



Can go dormant for long periods of time and recover well when precipitation returns



Highly developed root systems help this plant tolerate drought, but it doesn't handle dormancy well

Tall Fescue

Low - High

This is a cool-season grass, so it generally doesn't do as well under hot-dry conditions; however, it has a deep root system that can find water deep in the soil

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