Five Water-Saving Strategies For That Perfect Summer Lawn!
The summer is finally upon us. The sun is shining, the BBQs are out, and garden parties are in full swing. But with the warmer weather comes unique challenges for our gardens. The rising temperatures and reduction in rain make it harder to maintain a healthy and vibrant lawn. Last year was the hottest ever on record in the UK, and the summer was the driest since 1976. It’s safe to say it was a tough time for lawns.
Cheryl Harper, Managing Director of Greensleeves Lawn Care, has the following tips to help us keep our lawns hydrated and looking beautiful throughout the summer months.
1. Collect Rainwater For Use In The Garden
Capturing rainwater isn’t a new idea, but it’s one that many of us are still missing out on. And it is free and easy to collect! Installing a water butt or rain barrel is relatively simple, and you can use the water to hydrate your lawn and plants. Interestingly, rainwater is more suitable for grass than tap water, which is full of mineral elements, such as chlorine, fluoride and sodium, which can be toxic to plant tissue.
Depending on where you live, hose pipe bans are a likely possibility (if not already a reality), so being able to use the water from your water butt is a precious resource and a great way to keep your lawn hydrated and watered during these times.
2. Timing Is Everything
The time of day you water your lawn can have a significant impact on its health. The best time to water it is early morning. It’s cooler and usually the wind is calmer. This allows more water to seep down into the roots of the lawn. During the middle of the day, large quantities of water will evaporate before getting down into the roots, and your lawn will quickly dry out.
Ensuring you water the right amount is crucial as well. Not enough will make little difference, but too much and you’ll do more damage than good. Keep an eye on the weather forecast. As we all know, the weather can change quickly in the UK, so don’t waste water if rain is on the way. If you can see a long dry spell coming, it’s important you hydrate your lawn. Once the damage is done, it’s hard to reverse.
3. Aeration And Hydration Treatments
Aeration is a fantastic treatment for your lawn if you want to see it fully thrive. For those unfamiliar with aeration, it is the process of creating small holes or channels in the soil in order to provide good air circulation and improve grassroots water and nutrient consumption. In the summer when it’s hotter and drier, this becomes vital for your lawn.
Good hydration is also essential and if water is evaporating quicker than it’s absorbed, you’ll quickly see your lawn start to turn brown, dry out, and eventually die. Hydration treatments allow wetting agents into the soil. The technology allows applied water to efficiently enter the soil and gives complete coverage deep down into the root zone, ensuring the benefits are evenly distributed into the whole rooting area of the lawn.
4. Avoid Mowing Too Short
Set your lawnmower to a higher cutting height during summer. Longer grass provides shade to the soil, reducing water evaporation and promoting deeper root growth. Think little and often during the summer. If your grass is too short, it can lead to scorched leaves and water evaporating quickly, ultimately damaging your grass.
Lawns are full of weed seeds just waiting for the right conditions to germinate. Long grass is one of the best weed control methods you can have.
5. Unrooting The Garden Menaces
Pesky lawn weeds can be the bane of any homeowner's existence, but they don't have to be. One way to fight weeds is by having a healthy, thick, vigorous lawn, and you can achieve this through fertilising, watering, and mowing practices. Many weeds, however, can survive (and even thrive!) in hot summer conditions, due to extensive deep roots that can access groundwater all year round, so staying one step ahead with diligent maintenance is key.
Moss is another invasive and unwelcome visitor in lawns and, left unchecked, it can ultimately make it uninhabitable. Using a scarifier is the best solution for removing moss, and it simply means giving your lawn a good rake to bring out the plant. Scarifying can also prevent various lawn diseases and help to maximise the amount of water and nutrients reaching the grass roots.
If you’re struggling to find the time to manage your garden or need help or advice with lawn care treatments, you can always rely on the services of a professional lawn care company. Local experts know how to identify common issues and it will save you time, energy, and often money.