In this summer weather, lawns are likely to struggle without water and may turn brown as they go dormant. The best way that your customers can keep their lawns green all through the summer, regardless of rain, is to water them! [Assuming there are no hosepipe restrictions of course.]
Here are some useful tips to pass on to your customers today to make sure they are getting the most out of their water…
Start before it becomes a problem
Don’t wait for the lawn to go brown before watering. Start watering as soon as the lawn becomes dull in colour and loses its springiness. If the lawn has already gone brown it is likely to be too late so it may be worth saving the water and waiting for the season to pass. The lawn will return to its former glory in the autumn.
Lawns should not be watered when rain is expected as water and money will both be wasted.
Early morning shower
The best time of day to water the lawn is in the early morning, daybreak is ideal. This will allow the water to soak into the lawn and the grass roots to absorb as much as possible before the day warms up.
Watering late at night sounds good but is not best practice. The wet and warm conditions will encourage diseases such as red thread which will affect the appearance of the lawn and stress it out even further.
Avoid grey water!
In the summer we are encouraged to save water as much as possible by re-using clean waste water such as leftover bath water and water from washing machines. Whilst this might be ok for some of the shrubs and border plants, it is a bad idea for lawns. The chemicals that will have been used in the bath/washing machine will be harsh and will cause long-term damage to the lawn. Water from swimming pools treated with chlorine and other chemicals are to be avoided also. Fresh paddling pool water will be fine, but if it’s only applied to a small area you may end up with a green patch.
Give it a good soak
Watering a lawn is a waste of time unless the water has gone deep into the root zone. Water near the surface of the soil is quickly evaporated during the day so a good soak will make sure there is plenty of water available for the grass plants. Try not to over water as the excess will drain into local rivers and waterways taking vital fertiliser nutrients with it!
If water is running off the surface of the lawn when watering then the soil may have become hydrophobic. An application of wetting agent will help water soak in quicker and stay in the soil longer. Aeration can also help by providing channels for the water to enter the soil.
Stop when the weather changes
In the UK we get plenty of rain for the rest of the year so most lawns should not need watering during the other seasons. In fact, lawns that are given an easy life and watered all year round will end up with shallow roots; if the watering stops they will struggle and go brown very quickly. In the event of a hosepipe ban, a well-prepared lawn will stay greener for longer and bounce back quicker when the rain returns.
Reduce the stress levels of the lawn by raising the cutting height. This will also provide more cover for the soil surface and reduce water evaporation. If the lawn requires a feed then a non-scorch fertiliser should be applied, DroughtSafe is ideal as a summer feed when rain is scarce.
If you are interested in how wetting agent works check out our previous blog post What are lawn wetting agents for? or give us a call, we are happy to advise.