Dry lawn SOS: five first aid measures for your grass


As alarming as it may first seem, dry lawn is a very common and treatable garden complaint. So don’t panic: with the following list of causes and cures, you can get your grass back to being green and healthy in no time.

It can be quite an upsetting sight when your once green and luscious lawn suddenly starts to go brown and dry. Don’t immediately fear the worst though, because in many cases a dry lawn doesn’t necessarily mean the grass is beyond recovery.

Fortunately, it is usually possible to revive what looks like dying grass and restore it to full health. We have compiled the following guide to help you figure out the cause of your lawn’s problems and apply the right treatment.

Dry lawn first aid guide:

1. Drought

Prolonged periods of dry weather are one of the main causes of a dry lawn, making the grass look as if it has died. In actual fact, unless your garden has gone five or six weeks without water, it is more than likely that the grass is just dormant, and can be revived by regular watering (during the early morning or late evening, to prevent wastage from evaporation) over a month. Once the grass has recovered, let it grow longer, to enable it to develop a deeper root system that will hold more water during a drought.

five first aid measures for your green

2. Over-watering

Over-watering can cause your grass to have shallower, weaker roots, which make it less drought-resistant and encourage moss and turf diseases. As a guideline, watering a dry lawn once every seven to ten days is fine. To ensure this schedule is kept automatically, a sprinkler like GARDENA'S Oscillating Sprinkler ZoomMaxx can be connected to

five first aid measures for your green

3. Scalping

Cutting your grass too short with a lawnmower (known as ‘scalping’) is especially easy to do in uneven gardens, and can result in dry patches of lawn. To prevent it occurring, raise the blade of your mower so that it cuts no more than one third off the grass’ height. Two and a half inches is a healthy length for your lawn during spring and autumn, but allow it to grow to three inches in the summer for added durability.

4. Pet waste

If you are experiencing circular patches of dry lawn that are bright green at their edges, it could be that your cat or dog is using this spot to urinate on. Water the affected area immediately and it should return to health. There are certain foods that claim to reduce the damage a pet can do to grass, but be sure to consult your vet to ensure that they are safe before using them.

5. Insects

If you notice birds pecking around on rapidly spreading areas of dry lawn, this is a sign that insects are feeding on the roots of your grass. To check for the presence of grubs (like larger, thicker maggots in appearance), pull up a small area of affected turf. To avoid infestations, keep your garden healthy by avoiding excessively fertilising or over-watering it. Some species of grub can be brought to the surface by soaking your lawn with water and covering it with a material, such as black polythene, that blocks out light. The next day, lift the material and if there is an infestation, large numbers of grubs should be found underneath.

five first aid measures for your green

Grass has evolved to be a pretty tough and resilient plant, so no matter how bad it looks, a dry lawn really isn’t the disastrous condition you might fear. Follow the guidelines, treat it well and it should thrive for years to come.