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« Self Study Pesticide Learning Packs Available | Main | Solving Dry Patches in your Lawn »

Beat the drought - Top Tips for your Lawn

Grassclippings - Beat the Drought With only 0.8mm of rainfall received in the 21 days of June to date, we are very much in a drought.

The natural evaporation rate per hour today is 7mm currently so trying to water a lawn to get some vital green colour back is a bit of a losing battle as you would need to apply 7mm of water each daylight hour to keep abreast of the natural water loss from the lawns surface and turf grass plants.  It is easy to see that you will be in a water deficit in no time!

With no long term rain forecast for the next ten days or so in the South East of the UK, we may need to adopt a Keep Calm and Carry On attitude ahead of any looming water restrictions in the garden.  In the same time period last year, we received 39 mm of rainfall.  May was a dry month too with only 24.6mm of rain this year compared to last years 67.5mm of rain in the same month.

Turf grasses are tougher than you might think.  There are lots of things you can do to your lawn to keep it looking healthy and beat the drought. 

A drought is only 13 days without rain and the past autumn and winter has been really dry.  It does not have to be nice and sunny like in the summer of 1976 for there to be a drought and you would have still needed to water your garden over the past winter period.

Beating the drought lawn tips

  1. Get rids of your weeds and moss as they take up lots of available water that could be used for your turf grasses instead
  2. Fertilise your lawn now and again every three months - keep it healthy and it will cope with whatever weather is thrown at it
  3. 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
  4. Scarify your lawn to remove the old leaf litter that will aid quicker percolation of any available water down to the root zone
  5. 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
  6. 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
  7. Keep use of the lawn to a minimum, so less football practice and overall wear
  8. Treat the lawn for worm casts - this will aid the retention of the grass cover
  9. Keep an eye our for insect damage from Leatherjackets and Chafer Beetle Larvae as the grubs will be eating the vital grass roots
  10. 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
  11. 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
  12. Type any of the keywords mentioned above into this lawn advice blog and view more technical articles on the subject matter
  13. Visit The Lawn Shop for lawn care products 365 days a year and 24/7

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