Caring for your lawn in a hot, hot summer
It's a tough summer for our lawns. Many have endured months of what seemed like endless rain, even snow, and now they are having to cope with no rain and baking temperatures.
So, what can be done to help our lawns during another stressful time? The lawncare experts at GreenThumb, sponsors of the Problem Solved! feature at BBC Gardeners' World Live 2018, are here to help.
Q: Should I mow the lawn during a dry weather period?
If the grass is dry and not growing do not mow it. If there is some growth or it looks unsightly with tufts of growth here and there then only trim the tops of the leaf try and keep the height to 50mm (2”). This canopy will help to protect the soil, keep it cool and this will help when the rains come.
Q: Why does my lawn dry out in patches? Some of it is still green and other parts have dried out.
There is not one answer to this question.
- When dry weather affects a lawn some of the finer species are affected first thus leaving you with the rye grasses and possibly some of the coarser grass species still flourishing.
- Some areas of soil do dry quicker than other areas particularly if there is a sand content in the soil or there is something beneath the soil making it dry out quicker such as a drain.
- Some of the lawn may be in the shade or in a dip and this is keeping it cooler for longer so evaporation is not so extensive in these areas.
Q: There are many schools of thought about the best time to water a lawn, what is GreenThumb’s view?
When it comes to watering GreenThumb recommend the following:
- If you can, think ahead. It is easier to get water to penetrate a moist soil than it is to try and get it into a soil that is baked hard.
- Do not water through the sunny parts or middle of the day, this is not very effective due to the speed of evaporation.
- Water when the sun is ‘down’ either early morning or in the evening.
Q: How long will it take for the lawn to recover once we have some rain?
There are many factors which affect the answer to this question but as an average:
- If there is no fertiliser present: Approx. 6 weeks.
- If there is fertiliser present: Approx. 3-4 weeks.
- If there is fertiliser present and the lawn has had the GreenThumb Oasis Treatment: Approx. 7-10 days.
Q: Are there any common lawn problems which are more likely, after dry weather periods, I should know about?
The main one which can be very clear would be Dry Patch, this is when the soil has become hydrophobic (the soil repels any water). This should be treated with a programme using Oasis and possibly a soil fungicide. Making some holes in the area where the patch is and then treating is the best way forward, then watering it until grass has returned to the areas. Depending on what the temperatures do there is also a strong possibility of Red Thread which can also be clearly visibly and relatively easy to identify.
Q: Are weeds likely to be more prevalent on lawns following dry weather periods, if so why is that?
Yes. Weeds often do appear more active after a period of dry weather. With the dry weather dormant weed seeds are blow in the breeze and likely land onto your lawn. When the rains arrive, they germinate. Often, we have seen lawns which were weed free before a dry weather period become ‘weedy’ once again. However, we are aware of this and will ensure that post dry weather treatments will control them.
Q: When will it rain next?
Soon we hope! But in the meantime, enjoy the weather and don’t worry about your lawn too much.
This is advice from GreenThumb lawncare services. For more information visit greenthumb.co.uk
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