The Australian Summer can be harsh on lawns and there are certain techniques that can help get your lawns through the summer and determine the overall health and appearance of your lawns.
The key is to prepare the lawn to withstand the heat of Summer by ensuring it is in the best health and condition prior to the onset of the heat, as well as to avoid any sudden shock to the lawn.
Understanding Lawn Types
|Buffalo (Soft Leaf)||Wintergreen Couch||Mallee Kikuyu||Tall Fescue|
Deep Watering and a Deep Root System
The aim is to create a root system which is much deeper than normal. With a deep root system, the roots of the turf are less likely to dry out and die on hot Summer days, or at times of drought or low water usage.
The way this is done is to water the lawn less often, and more deeply. Aim to reduce watering frequencies to half of normal or even less, and when the lawn finally begins to start looking slightly wilted, it’s time to give the lawn a very large drink of water.
In this way, the lawn’s roots will continue to travel deeper into the soil profile, where they are safe from Summer heat, and where there is an abundant supply of water which resides below the soil evaporation level.
Lawns, and in particular Couch should be de-thatched every year or two, and usually done in the Spring. Varieties such as Buffalo or Kikuyu can be mowed much lower at the beginning of Spring instead.
The first change to lawn mowing should be with mowing heights, if the lawn is in excellent health and water is not an issue, then lawn mowing heights can safely be lowered, as the time of year is peak growing season and the lawn can easily cope and repair with a shorter leaf.
However, if the lawn is subject to heavy water restrictions and may experience drought-like conditions, then the lawn mowing height should be INCREASED. This will allow the lawn leaf and thatch layer to insulate the soil against heavy water loss from evaporation, and the end result will be massive as the Summer progresses.
Mow the lawn regularly during the Summer. Healthy, well watered lawns will benefit from less weeds and more green leaf with less invasion of the grass into surrounding garden beds. Regular mowing will also ensure the lawn is not scalped by removing too much green leaf in a single mowing, as this can easily kill sections of lawn which are under the stress of Summer heat.
Caring for your Lawn in Hot Summer Days
If you’ve found yourself with a string of very hot days and the lawn looks to be under extreme stress and at risk of possibly dying, then the very best thing to do is to give the lawn a very deep watering the next morning.
Also ensure the lawn receives and application of Wetting Agents at the next available opportunity.
The hottest days of Summer are the most stressful of all for any lawn variety. On these days it’s important not to put the lawn under any further stress whatsoever, otherwise the results can become extremely damaging to the lawn for a very long time to come, even possibly causing the death of the lawn.
As a rule of thumb, all fertilising should also be avoided on the hottest days, as fertilising in the heat of the day “burns the leaves” and can have devastating to the lawn if the fertiliser is not watered into the grass thoroughly and completely, and done immediately after application. If you really must fertilise a lawn on a hot day, do it early in the morning and ensure the fertiliser is completely watered away from the grass leaf and into the soil.
All forms of lawn repair should be avoided in the heat of Summer. This includes things like top dressing and mowing overgrown lawns.
For more information, please contact our office on 0438 056 174 or 1800 800 968 or visit our website at www.instantlawns.com.au
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