A drought is only 13 days without rain and the past autumn and winter and year to date has been really dry. It does not have to be nice and sunny like in the summer of 2018 or 1976 for there to be a drought.
For example, at the end of July, the South East had received less rain of only 270 mm in the year to date than we had in 2018 which was 288 mm in the same period. So currently 2019 has been dryer than 2019 and not as hot.
Such little and infrequent rainfall is not great for lawns and their long term care and there sre still a lot of 2019 drought damaged lawns out there.
Beating the drought lawn tips
- Get rids of your weeds and moss as they take up lots of available water that could be used for your turf grasses instead
- Fertilise your lawn now and again every three months – keep it healthy and it will cope with whatever weather is thrown at it
- Raise your height of cut to at least setting three or four on a Hayter, so around 4 cm and make sure the mower blade is sharp so as not to stress the turf grasses further
- Scarify your lawn to remove the old leaf litter that will aid quicker percolation of any available water down to the root zone
- Aerate the lawn to ease compaction and consolidation over the winter allowing fresh air into the soil surface and aiding deeper rooting of the turf grasses and also root pruning to increase number of and surface area of the root system
- Forget about watering your lawn at all – you will not compete with the benefit of dew or natural rain and an occasional 5mm of rain will suffice. The nightly dews add a lot of water to the lawn too and watering will only generate shallow roots. Grass naturally goes brown but the grass does not die
- Keep use of the lawn to a minimum, so less football practice and overall wear
- Treat the lawn for worm casts – this will aid the retention of the grass cover
- Keep an eye our for insect damage from Leatherjackets and Chafer Beetle Larvae as the grubs will be eating the vital grass roots
- Over seed your lawn with grass seed – fill in any bare areas once populated by weeds and moss and weed grasses. The grass seed will enjoy the micro climate of the existing grasses cut at a higher mower height and will easily germinate and develop even if only relying on natural rainfall
- Use Wetting Agents in a Granular, Liquid or Hose Diluter Tablet Form to alleviate areas of naturally occurring Dry Patch in the soil. Wetting Agents break down any surface tension in the soil and permit even distribution of rainfall through the root zone and less water is then required to assist the health of the turf grasses
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