Drought Management Tips


With the weather we have had over the last year, our soil moisture levels are lower than we have seen in quite a while. However there are steps we can take to maximize the benefit of the water we can get to our turf and trees.  It is possible to maintain plant health even given the water restrictions that are in place.  Below are some tips and ideas to help maintain your growing investment.


  • Ensure your lawn is getting at least one inch of water per week.
  • Areas on hills and next to pavement will likely require more.
  • Avoid watering on windy days.
  • Avoid watering in the heat of the day.
  • Promote deep rooting by watering less frequently, but for longer periods.
  • Raise your mowing height (3-3.5 inches).
  • Keep your blades sharp!
  • Never cut more than 1/3 of the grass blade.
  • Aeration is critical to manage thatch and increase water penetration.


  • Your trees and shrubs need about 1" of water per week.
  • For established trees, water more around the drip line and less near the trunk.
  • Apply 2-4" of mulch as far out as you can.
  • Depending on the species, the majority of the roots are in the upper 6-18" inches of soil.  Watering slowly and deeply will be most efficient.
  • Remember that trees continue the transpiration process through the winter months.  So it is important to water throughout the winter  if the ground is not frozen and if we have a warm dry winter like last year.
  • Reduce competition for resources by removing turf or weeds near the trunk. 
  • Consult a licensed arborist to ensure the tree has proper soil structure and aeration levels in the soil profile.