Sometimes during Late spring and summer we experience long dry, hot periods and this is when drought can occur. The lawn can turn brown and straw coloured and will cause the lawn to become stressed. If a lawn is regularly watered and maintained then this can be avoided.
If lawns are allowed to become too dry they can develop “Dry Patch” the symptoms are patchy areas of straw coloured grass. If this occurs watering becomes relavilty ineffective as the soil particles develop a waxy covering which repels the water applied. The solution is to apply a Wetting Agent, which will break down the waxy covering and encourage the soil to accept water again.
When To Water
Early morning is the best time to water your lawn as the temperatures are cooler and the water is less likely to evaporate or transpirate. Watering at night is best avoided as this can leave the “canopy” humid over night which increases the likelihood of fungal diseases occuring on your lawn.
How Much To Water
A deep soaking twice a week is much more beneficial than a light sprinkling every day. This will promote stronger deeper roots and the lawn will be less likely to dry out. A lawn requires 1 to 1/2 inches of rainfall a week. If you are unsure about the amount of rainfall there has been, then a rain gauge is a useful way of checking.
If however we experience heavy summer rainfall then it is advisable to check that your lawn can breathe and is not holding too much water. Use a fork or spike where water has lain the longest.
With a hot barmy summer predicted, now is a perfect time to make the most of the rainfall we have. A water butt is a sensible low cost option which is ideal for collecting rain water for a later date. When we have long dry periods, water can become rationed and this makes gardening in these areas challenging and difficult.
Investment in a good rubber hose is essential. Hoses have a limited life span. The lower the quality, the more likely they are to perish, especially in the hot sun. Check the hose is properly installed and washers are not faulty to minimise water loss.
If time is an issue, then an irrigation system can be installed but this is more costly. Once in place however it will save time and water, directing water where it is needed the most.
If you would like any further advice about watering, please contact your local Lawnscience office.