It is still rather dry for lawns and gardens out there in the South East and in the North, bridges are colllapsing with the deluge of water volume. Crazy weather.
You may easily recall the long summer of 2018 with the lack of rain and high temperatures. Looking at the historical rain data for 2019 to the end of July, we have at this point had 288mm of rainfall in the South East so far this year, which is exactly the same figure that we had in the same period last year. The temperature may not be quite as hot but the net effect on the garden and lawn are pretty much the same as ast year to date.
This is why the lawns are looking a little parched and grass seed is struggling to germinate and establish. We are in the grips of a drought technically speaking.
On a sunny day when the temperature is around 24 degrees centigrade, the natural evapo-transpiration water loss from the surface of a lawn can be 40mm between the hours of 11:00 am – 18:00 so unless we all get 40mm plus of rainfall that night, to replemish the natural water loss, we can quickly get into a water deficit without really thinking too hard about it.
A local Golf Club to our office will put down about 1 million litres of water a night onto the greens, tees and fairways. During the next summer day, they may naturally lose up to 45% of the water applied the night before meaning that they need to apply 1.43 million litres the next night to compensate for the evaoporation. You get the idea. At some point they will give up watering the fairways and concentrate on the greens and tees only.
What can you do with your lawn this month?
- Get to grips with your lawn weed control to conserve vital water supplies from natural rainfall or irrigation
- Don’t worry too much about watering your established lawn as it will naturally go brown to conserve water. It will come back when the weather is more favourable
- Raise the height of cut of the mower and mow in an alternate direction
- Tidy the edges and trim any shrub overhang
- Hold off repairing any areas with new grass seed unless you can keep the patches wet with very regular watering
- Use a Wetting Agent Tablet to cure localised dry patches and get these areas moist to a depth so that they are ready to overseed them at a later date, like in September
- Order your granular lawn fertiliser to be forearmed and ready to help your lawn get out of drought conditions
- Keep and eye out for lawn disease, in particular Red Thread and Rust
- Control Ants with Combat Max Ant Killer
- Plan your autumn lawn renovation process
Having said this, a summer lawn is one to be enjoyed by you and your family so remember to take some time out and enjoy yourselves.
You cannot control what the weather throws at us, so put up with it, even if your lawn is looking a little parched and patchy!