Dry Weather Advice
During prolonged periods of hot and dry weather, your lawn will suffer in the long term if you don’t give it the correct care it needs during a drought.
You may notice your lawn starting to brown and growth slowing, these are the first signs that your lawn is already suffering. Growth may even stop completely and eventually you could end up with a very worn and patchy looking lawn.
In severe drought, your lawn may actually appear “dead”, however with the correct care; it can often be brought back to life. Known as the ‘Lazarus plant’, grass has the ability to be resurrected with the new season’s rainfall.
To avoid your lawn reaching this ‘dead’ stage, below are a few useful tips to help keep your lawn looking green:
With a well established lawn, correct mowing techniques will help relieve stress and mean a lot less work with the garden hose to keep moisture in your lawn.
At the first sign of hot and dry weather, it is advisable to raise the height of your lawnmower if possible, this provides more leaf and a larger plant to keep reserves for when it is needed.
Another step you can take when the lawn is barely growing, is to leave the box off your mower (if this is possible), not collecting grass clippings, but rather leaving them will act as a mulch and slow evaporation from the ground.
Take care however to only leave SMALL clippings, if you are mowing weekly this will be fine, however, leaving larger clippings on the lawn will cause more damage than good.
Always water your lawn during the cooler parts of the day, the best time to water is early in the morning as evening watering during warm/humid conditions risk leading to fungal infections such as Red Thread.
However, if evening is the only chance you have to water, then by all means do it then, it is more important to maintain the moisture levels in your lawn than to not do anything at all.
New lawns/Renovated Lawns;
Provided there is no water ban. New lawns will need more regular watering than established lawns, aim to be watering your newly seeded areas between two to four times daily, aiming to keep the surface as moist as possible at all times will encourage quicker germination.
Do not give up when the seeds are germinating, at this stage especially they will need a continued supply of water to become established. Continue watering daily, not allowing the ground to dry out.
If your lawn has been recently laid, then watering daily is imperative to ensure the joints knit together and don't shrink or dry out. Give your newly turfed lawn a deep watering to encourage rooting twice a day, for around 30 minutes each time.
If you follow the mowing advice above, then an established lawn can survive happily with a deep watering 2/3 times a week during the summer months.
Leave a sprinkler on the lawn, covering all areas for between 30 minutes to an hour. This will encourage the roots of the plant deeper down, therefore giving you a stronger lawn to cope with the dry period.