July - To water or not to water…
Wimbledon’s courts always remains a beautiful green, even in a heat wave – plenty of overnight watering sees to that. But should you be doing the same to your lawn?
The summer heat can take its toll on your lawn and you may see dry, brown patches appearing. Don’t worry though, grass is tough - it actually ‘shuts down’ in hot periods. That’s right, your lawn can take a siesta, ceasing all growth until milder, wetter conditions return.
Unless you’re maintaining the same immaculate striped look of Centre Court, you probably don’t need to water each night. Here are a few things to think about before you leave the sprinkler on overnight.
Feed before the heat-wave arrives
A dry looking lawn could actually be a hungry lawn rather than a thirsty one so make sure you put a summer feed down well before a heat wave hits. There are some excellent 2-in-1 products on the market that will do the job, but remember to follow the directions carefully. Avoid using moss killer in your summer feed or spot weed killers as they can burn your grass.
If your grass isn’t growing you don’t have to get hot and bothered mowing it. If you really want to tidy it up, give it a very light trim. My top tip is to leave the box off as the clippings can help to protect the soil from the sun. Don’t forget to keep your blade sharp too. If you use a blunt one, you’ll turn the lawn yellow yourself.
If you need to water your lawn, do it in the cool of the evening. If your grass is still growing it will absorb the water much better at this time of day and you’ll lose less through evaporation too.
If your lawn has already turned brown it will take a huge amount of water to get the lush green colour back, so you’re better off waiting for nature to take care of this for you. Alternatively, if you know a hot spell is on the way, water the lawn well before it arrives. Giving your grass an extra boost in readiness for an impending drought will really help and it’ll mean you’ll use less water during the warm spell.
If you’re lawn doesn’t quite match that of Wimbledon, don’t fret. It will soon recover; and the better you look after it through the rest of the year, the more resilient it will be when we do get those rare blasts of real summer weather.