Restoring Lawn in Drought?


Old 05-19-14, 09:25 PM
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Restoring Lawn in Drought?

Here in Northern California, we've had a drought this season and our county has permitted us to only water lawns once a week this spring. Starting next month, it's only two times a week. If you don't follow, they'll fine you and eventually turn off the water to your home.

We've followed the rules the county has set out. But last week, we had 100 degree temps 5 days in a row. Now half my lawn, the part that was not in shade, is all dead. It's yellow/golden/brown grass, I guess that means it's dead. And now there are patches of no grass.

How can I restore that lawn that is yellow/brown dead looking? I don't want to buy new grass since it's so expensive. I'm thinking of watering it by hand/hose daily but is that going to help (county said that is ok i guess).

I was desperate and saw that hydromousse infomercial and was tempted but read some reviews and they all said it was a scam (Hydro Mousse | Lawn Grass, Grass Seeds | AsSeenOnTV.comô Shop). But is there something legitimate like this that can help me restore the lawn that is dead looking? I don't have pictures, but this is a good example of what I have :

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Old 05-19-14, 09:41 PM
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There is a big difference between dead grass and dormant grass. Grass can recover from dormancy when there is adequate moisture and favorable temperatures again. All you can do right now is water it as much as you can on the days that they allow it. Deep watering is better for the lawn than light watering. Frequent light watering makes the roots shallow and susceptible to drought, while deep watering occasionally will cause the roots to reach down deeper for moisture, helping it weather the occasional hot/dry spell. Fertilizing (or over fertilizing!) a lawn and then not giving it adequate moisture can also cause a lawn to burn up.

I don't know why you would have patches of "no grass" unless the local kids had a football scrimmage on your dormant grass. It's best to stay off it, don't rake it or mow it or anything where it is dormant, as you just scratch up the dry ground and uproot the dormant grass roots. Dead spots could be from people letting their pets urinate on your lawn. That's usually not a big problem when the lawn is getting watered daily, but it will burn the lawn when it's dry.

Reseeding your lawn would be really stupid if you can't keep it watered daily.

Watering lawns is a waste of drinkable water in the first place. Someday we will have to come to terms with that.
Old 05-19-14, 10:22 PM
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Thanks for the reply. I'm not sure how the dead spots got there. I know we had moles and they dug up the lawn but we were able to get them out of there for the most part. Also we do have a lot of dogs who do their thing on our lawn so that may have caused the spots too.

I'll keep watering it on the days the county allows. I'm not sure if the grass will come back green. I think you are right about it not being dead. During early April it got brown but then we got a good 2 days of rain and I remember the grass soaking up that rain and being nice lush green.
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