So it’s officially summer and the wet season is just around the corner – while time for North Queenslanders to take a break, relax and celebrate, it is a bit different for your lawn. The warmer weather is a stressful time for lawns but how it copes all depends on the preparation you do at the beginning of the season.
Having a healthy lawn heading into the season will ensure a more robust, better looking lawn when the heat hits. Our tips below will help prepare your lawn to handle the heat as well as any shocks such as flash flooding or a heat wave.
Avoid stressing your lawn on very hot days. Don’t apply herbicides, insecticides or fertilisers just wait for a cooler day. Help your lawn out on extremely hot days by scheduling a deep watering the next day to give it a lift.
Lawn with a heavy layer of thatch will result in water sitting in that layer and not getting to the soil below where it is needed. If your lawn is ‘spongy’ to walk on then dethatching is recommended.
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.
During summer, when the grass leaves begin to look slightly wilted give a larger than normal watering – less frequent but deeper watering is the key – this will force the roots to move deeper into the soil profile to find water and this process actually protects them from the summer heat.
Since summer is the growing season, lawns can cope with a shorter leaf and lower mowing height but if water is likely to be limited then the mowing height should be increased in order to protect the soil against water loss through evaporation. Continuing to mow on a regular basis during the warmer months will limit the likelihood of scalping which in turn keeps the lawn healthy which in turn discourages weeds, disease, pests and any invasive lawns around.
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