How to Take Care of Your Lawn While You're on Vacation
With all the planning and packing involved, your summer vacation to-do list is overwhelming! The last thing you need is to stress over the state of your lawn while you're away. Thankfully, if the weather conditions are favorable, a well-cared-for and healthy lawn should withstand your absence for a week or two. To ensure your lawn stays healthy during the summer heat, there are some easy steps you can take before and after your trip. Even if your lawn is dormant, you can help it recover and regain its lush, green look.
Before you leave town, take these simple steps to prepare your lawn:
- If you plan to go on a trip, mowing your lawn just before leaving is advisable. During the summer, grass growth slows down, providing flexibility to your lawn care routine. Therefore, before embarking on your journey, you can mow it as usual.
- Make a watering plan. If you have an irrigation system, it's best to keep it running as usual. However, if the forecast shows little rain, consider adding an extra day of watering each week you're away. For those who rely on a hose and sprinkler, it's recommended to soak the lawn for an hour in each area before leaving. Alternatively, you can ask a reliable neighbor or friend to water your lawn and flowers (remember to return the favor!).
After returning from a vacation, your lawn might require additional attention:
- You might consider mowing your lawn at a slightly higher height than usual. If you've been away for a while, your grass has likely grown quite long. To prevent cutting off more than a third of the blade at once, increasing your mowing height and mowing more frequently until you achieve your desired grass length is best.
- Water (or don’t). If you were away and your lawn experienced heavy rainfall, it may be excessively waterlogged. In such a case, it would be best to wait for some time to allow it to dry out. Conversely, if it appears to be extremely dry, it would be advisable to water it deeply and continue with your regular watering schedule.
Dealing with Summer Dormancy
If you plan to be away from home for an extended period, your lawn will likely go dormant. However, there's no need to worry. This is a natural survival mechanism for your lawn. During dormancy, the foliage of the grass plant will turn brown and dead, but the roots and crowns will remain alive.
To help your lawn recover from summer dormancy, patience is vital. Most healthy lawns can survive dormant for 3 to 4 weeks without rainfall or irrigation. Once you return, water your lawn immediately and continue regularly. As temperatures cool, the grass will recover, emerge from dormancy, and grow.