The struggle for water is real in Cape Town. And dead lawns have just added to the depressing climate.
On Monday officials announced that dam levels “are effectively at approximately 21‚5%”‚ and mayor Patricia de Lille has declared a local disaster.
However‚ gardeners needn’t be forlorn. According to the managing director of Stodels Nurseries‚ Nick Stodel‚ your grass might still be alive.
“Dormant grass and dead grass often look very much alike and it’s quite difficult to tell them apart‚” Stodel said.
How does one tell the difference?
Dormant lawn consists of brown leaves but “the crown at the base of the leaves will still be green and the roots will have a healthy off-white colour. If the lawn is dead‚ the entire plant‚ leaves‚ crowns and roots will be brown and brittle”.
Here are some tips on how to save your lawn:
  1. •Use a manual or power aerator to punch holes in the lawn. This will help any moisture to go directly to the roots. 
  2. • Remove the accumulation of dead organic matter like matted grass clippings and leaves. 
  3. It is always important but particularly in times of water shortages or drought.
  4.  Grass clippings on the lawn can act as mulch but when they clump together they need to be removed. 
  5. • Reduce traffic as much as possible on dormant grass.
  6.  The weight will compact the soil‚ making it even more difficult to absorb the little water it receives. 
  7. • Even though your grass will eventually stop growing‚ keep on mowing. 
  8. But never remove more than one third of the grass blades. 
  9. • Don’t fertilise the grass during this time of drought‚ the fertiliser will burn it if it’s not watered at the same time.