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Your Lawn’s Health: A Drought Care Checklist

How can you determine whether or not your lawn is healthy during poor weather, and what can you do to bring it back to life?

shrinking soil

It’s just as important to care for your lawn as it is to care for your home when you’re trying to avoid foundation, basement, or crawl space damage. Your lawn can help you fight back against excessive hydrostatic pressure during the rainy season or hold your foundation together in the midst of a drought.

How do you go about preparing your lawn for unpredictable weather in Raleigh, NC? You can use the following checklist to meet your lawn’s situational needs.

Preparing Your Lawn to Face the Coming Year

While you can’t always predict what the weather will do in your area, you can still care for your lawn with poor weather in mind. Whether you’re concerned about drought or excessive rain, you’ll want to:

expansive wet clay soil
  • Audit your dirt – You can’t successfully establish an action plan for your lawn if you don’t know what kind of soil you’re working with. Certain types of clay, for example, are significantly more difficult to deal with when it rains than they are when it’s dry. Alternatively, you may live in an area with an excess of naturally waterproof soil. To get a better idea of what kind of soil you’ve built your home on, you can reach out to a professional in your area.
  • Install a sprinkler system – It’s never a bad idea to have a sprinkler system installed around your lawn. If you don’t want to commit to full-lawn coverage, it’s best to have a system in place that can keep the perimeter of your home moist throughout the worst of the summer heat.
  • Plant rain-resistant grasses and hedges – Raleigh, NC, is more likely to see heavy rain than it is to see a drought. As such, you’ll want to be mindful of your landscaping and have plants in your yard that can stand up to tropical storms. These plants will establish a thorough root system in your yard that can prevent erosion and absorb excess water.

When you’re looking for rain-resistant grasses and plants to add to your yard, consider:

  • Bahiagrass
  • Sheep fescue
  • Buffalo grass
  • Canada bluegrass
  • Zoysiagrass
  • Redtop
  • Bermudagrass

Taking Care of Your Lawn During the Year

As the weather starts to turn, you’ll need to plan out how you want to respond to changes in your yard. If it starts to rain to the point where you believe your lawn’s health may be in question, you’ll want to:

  • Watch the weather – Caring for your yard requires you to be flexible. You’ll want to keep an eye on the weather and plan your weekly lawn care accordingly. Some weeks, for example, you may need to run your sprinkler system more frequently, while you may be able to leave it off entirely during others.
  • Mow less often – Right now, it’s tempting to mow your lawn down to keep it under control. When you let your lawn come back to life, however, the grasses you have on your property will help keep your surrounding ecosystem healthier. You can usually get away with mowing in the Raleigh, NC, area every two weeks to once a month.
  • Look for damage – If you do believe the weather has started to negatively impact your lawn’s health, look for signs of damage, and catalog it accordingly.

Above all else, do not try and bring your lawn back to life in the middle of flood season or if the weather’s dried out. Any attempts to do so will often result in wasted money and time as the weather around your area worsens. Instead, try to keep your soil moist, at a minimum, and wait for the weather to break. Only then can you begin taking steps towards effective lawn repair.

Rejuvenating Your Lawn After Poor Weather Passes

Once the weather breaks, it’s time to get to work. You can start to heal your lawn by:

Drought and your lawn
  • Taking in your damage – If you didn’t keep track of your lawn’s damage during your bout of poor weather, you’ll need to take that damage into account before making any moves to heal your lawn.
  • Dispersing compost and fertilizer – If parts of your lawn have died out, either due to drought or excessive rain, you may be tempted to fertilize these areas with enthusiasm. You’ll want to disperse compost and fertilizer carefully so as to not overwhelm your yard as it recovers.
  • Mulching – If you want to disperse water throughout your lawn without putting your foundation at risk, mulch can absorb that excess water and keep it away from sensitive plants and support structures.
  • Continuing to use your sprinkler system – Whether it starts to rain again or the weather finally dries up, you should continue to use your sprinkler system as is appropriate for the weather. Again, moist soil is healthy soil and can help protect your home against significant long-term damage.

Fighting for Your Foundation in A Drought

When you work to protect your lawn, you also work to keep your foundation safe from the worst effects of a drought. However, you don’t have to take on that kind of work alone. You can reach out to the foundation repair professionals working in Raleigh, NC, for guidance before, during, or after a drought.

The experts at Tar Heel Basement Systems can inspect your home and provide you with a free quote on any repairs or installations you may need to keep your home safe.

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