Using Organic Fertilizer To Keep Your Grass Green During Drought

Posted on: 11 May 2016


Lawns going dormant over the course of a long, hot summer is nothing to be surprised about, but what can you do when persistent drought seems to leave your lawn eternally brown and dry? Although it is possible to keep your lawn green and healthy during a drought, special care must be taken to discourage dormancy without damaging your grass in the process. In these cases, it is often more effective and less risky to use natural, organic fertilizers (from an outlet such as Nature Safe) for your grass. Not only are they less likely to burn your plants with excessive nitrogen, but they will also improve the growing conditions that determine how long your grass stays green before shutting down for the summer.

Improving Soil Quality and Preventing Thatch

Artificial fertilizer is typically refined and compacted into the most efficient density possible while still being safe for humans to handle. Unfortunately, those concentrations are typically not safe for the bugs and bacteria responsible for decomposing organic matter like dead grass in your lawn. Instead of being returned to the soil, where it adds vital nutrients and structure to hold water, this dead grass forms an unsightly layer of thatch. This disruption of the natural cycle of grass leads to poor soil quality and water retention, which is only magnified during a drought. Choosing an organic fertilizer mix is less likely to kill beneficial decomposing organisms, allowing your lawn to function as intended. 

Managing Growth During Dry Spells

One of the key differences between most artificial and organic fertilizers is nitrogen content. Although nitrogen is an essential ingredient for plant growth, too much can actually burn your lawn. Even safe levels of nitrogen can be harmful to grass in the hottest and driest stretches of summer; spurring too much growth under already stressful conditions can cause your grass to go dormant sooner than it would otherwise. The grass will also require more frequent mowing until it does, which puts additional undue stress on each plant. A low-nitrogen organic fertilizer is a better option to give your grass a boost without pushing it to its limits. 

Periods of drought, especially those with heavy water restrictions, can be a trying time for any homeowner. But your lawn might be more resilient than you think, when given the tools it needs to function and survive on its own. By combining the benefits of organic fertilizer with other drought-responsive tactics like keeping your grass taller and returning clippings to your lawn to decompose, you should be able to keep your lawn greener longer under even the toughest conditions.