So is it me but does it feel like a dryer summer than normal in the Southern Tier? I noticed that my lawn isn't growing as fast as normal but I've been okay with that because I save money on gas when I don't have to mow as much.

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There is a way to tell if we are experiencing a drought in the Southern Tier, it's with the U.S Drought Monitor. The Drought Monitor focuses on broad-scale issues but you can localize it to see what's happening in our area.

New York State Drought Monitor

So I went to New York on the U.S. Monitor and hovered over the different counties until I found Broome County. I won't mention how I did but here's a helpful hint: Broome County borders Pennsylvania, so it'll be on the edge, not the middle of the state.

New York Drought Map
U.S Drought Monitor

If nothing else, this tests your knowledge on whether you know where the different New York counties are located. As of Thursday, July 14th, our area is boarding on abnormally dry and no drought at all.

West of Broome County is also seeing abnormally dry conditons until you get to Erie County is has moderate drought conditions. Whether there's a drought or not, we want our yard to look good and green. So what should we do with our lawn during a drought?

Tips On Taking Care Of Your Lawn During A Drought

Put lawn projects on hold and hold off on the fertilizer - When conditions are dry, it puts extra stress on the grass. It needs as much moisture as possible and nitrogen fertilizer can end up burning up the grass.

You are encouraged to wait until early September to fertilize because the temperatures are cooler and that's better for your lawn.

Water your yard deeply and infrequently - This helps to keep the moisture in the grass and reduce evaporation. If you're using a sprinkler, water it in the morning and make sure it's set up to only wet your lawn.

Obviously, your sidewalk, driveway, or house doesn't need to be watered. Make sure it isn't puddling or running off. We have a tendency to think that we need to water our lawn a lot to help keep it lush but turns out that's not true.

Mow High - When my yard starts to dry out, I set my mower to one setting higher so that it doesn't end up cutting it too low and making the grass brown. This helps keep the soil cool and the moisture in.

If you mow it too short during a drought, your lawn may not recover when the temperatures begin to get cooler.

Maintain your lawn equipment - I'm guilty as charged of keeping my mowers in proper condition. You should get your mower blades sharpened twice a year not twice in its career. Whoops.

A dull blade will tear at the grass and it'll need 40 to 60% more water to recover. You should also make sure that your blades are cutting evenly on both sides of the mower. Whoops again.

These are just a few tips to maintain your lawn during a drought...and any other time too. You can get other life-giving lawn ideas here.

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