What problems does drought cause for the lawn?
Lack of water causes severe drought stress in lawns. Without water, the grass will slow its growth and lose its colour. Fungal pathogens will find drought-stressed grass easy to attack, especially in the warm and humid evenings.
Drought also increases the risk of causing burn/scorch from lawn treatments. Even low-level NPK fertilisers can cause scorch in drought conditions and spillages of any fertiliser will cause scorch patches to appear if the soil is dry enough.
Daily watering in the early morning is the only way keep the lawn consistently green and lush through drought but it is not always possible for your customers to do this, and you are most likely not to have the time to do it for them.
Can I still treat without causing more stress to the lawn?
Liquid treatments seem like a good option in the summer as they are applied with water… problem solved? Not completely. By their nature, liquid feeds are very low-input. A liquid feed will only a fraction of the time that a granular would. Repeat applications will be needed to keep the lawn green. You can also cause leaf burn if the product is applied in hot, sunny weather with low-levels of water.
Organic fertilisers usually have a very low scorch potential. The problem is that true organic feeds tend to be very low in NPK so may not give your customer the results that they expect.
There is also the option of applying your regular feed anyway but at a much lower rate. Check with the supplier on this one though, as if the rate is too low you may end up with a speckled lawn and an unhappy customer.
By far, the most popular option is to use a fully coated summer fertiliser that is designed to be low or non-scorch. DroughtSafe 19-3-9 is SmartLawn’s answer to this problem and has been available from GreenBest Ltd for the last 7 years… so we know it works!
How does DroughtSafe work?
DroughtSafe is made with no fast-release nitrogen. The Nutrilong V90 used as the main nitrogen source does not start to release nutrients until water is present, thereby allowing the fertiliser to be applied without the need to be watered in. After all the nutrients are released the polyurethane shells are broken down in the soil by specialised fungi (Pestalotiopsis spp.).
We have also added an organic component to the DroughtSafe formulation. Our Onyx™ granules are derived from plant matter, are low-dust and definitely not smelly like other organic fertilisers! Primarily, they provide amino acids which help alleviate stress in lawns and provide food for the good microbes in the soil. In addition, they also provide an organic source of nitrogen, potassium and a bunch of trace elements.
DroughtSafe is kept in stock and is available in a choice of two granule sizes (1-2mm or 2-3mm). Please call us now if you would like any more information about this product or would like to place an order!