While summer typically means a chance for Queenslanders to relax, celebrate and unwind, it’s a highly stressful time of year for lawns. How your lawn handles this season is all about what you do before and after summer.
Preparing now (or not) will determine the overall health and appearance of your lawn when the heat arrives. What you’re doing now will prepare the lawn to withstand the heat and avoid any sudden shocks. Daley’s Turf has compiled their top summer lawn care tips to help keep your lawn healthy, despite what summer throws at it.
Deep watering for a deep root system
With a deeper root system, a result of less frequent but deep watering, the roots of the lawn are less likely to dry out during summer, with lower water use, or through a drought. Reduce watering frequencies by half or less and when the grass leaves begin to look slightly wilted give a larger than normal watering – this will force the roots to move deeper into the soil profile to seek water which actually protects them from the summer heat.
Dethatching the lawn
A heavily thatched lawn will just result in water being left to sit in the thatch and not reaching the soil where it’s needed, so dethatch or vertimow your lawn now if it feels spongy to walk on.
Apply wetting agents
During summer many soils dry out and become more water repellent so applying a wetting agent can be a fantastic idea. Wetting agents are designed to soak into the soil and coat the particles with a water attracting agent that serves to break down any greasy coating. This, in turn, allows the soil to hold onto water for longer periods of time as well as soaking up more water.
For summer your mowing height can to be adjusted to suit the weather conditions. Since it’s growing season, lawns can cope with a shorter leaf (lower mowing height) but if water is likely to be in limited supply then the mowing height should be increased in order to protect the soil against water lost through evaporation.
Mow regularly during summer will avoid the likelihood of scalping and will help keep the lawn healthy which will then discourage invasive grass, weeds, disease and pests.
On the hottest days of the season avoid adding more stress to the lawn – don’t apply herbicides, insecticides or fertilisers; wait for a cooler day when your lawn doesn’t have as much to cope with. If you have a particularly hot day and your lawn looks to be suffering schedule a deep watering for the next day to give it the boost it needs.