The Environment Agency has warned that parts of England will be at risk of drought this summer due to the unusually dry start to the year.
Despite the winter downfall, large parts of the country have recorded below average rainfall every month of the year so far.
The Met Office have also warned that drought could become more likely over time due to climate change. With a hot barmy summer predicted, now is the time to take action to prevent our lawns becoming a casualty of drought.
By following our lawn cutting tips, and applying the correct Lawnscience wetting agent when necessary, you can maintain a lush, green beautiful lawn.
Cutting Your Lawn
Cutting can cause stress for your lawn, but it is vital over the summer months. Try to mow when the grass is dry, if not you will run the risk of ripping the grass which can cause discolouration to the lawn.
Cutting your grass to the correct length is vital to its well being. The grass plant is designed to have a long leaf – 1.5 – 2 inches is fine. A longer leaf is a healthier leaf.
If the leaves of the grass are left longer, the grass leaves take in as much of the sun’s energy and carbon dioxide as possible and use these in the process of photosynthesis to produce simple carbohydrates.
These carbohydrates are transmitted through to the grass roots giving them energy to grow. It is extremely important for grass to have long roots as this helps to protect it against drought.
When grass is cut too short, there is less leaf to absorb the sun’s energy which means the roots will be shorter and therefore weaker. In any case never mow off more than one third of the grass blade in one mow because a drastic decrease in height can shock the plant affecting its appearance.
Longer leaves mean bigger roots which is great for grass and helps them harvest more water from the ground.
Prevent Dry Patch
Dry Patch can occur in lawns after prolonged dry periods, similar to those predicted for this summer.
When Dry Patch occurs, the soil in the lawn becomes coated in a waxy substance causing it to become water repellent.
Once this occurs and the soil becomes hydrophobic, it is very difficult to rehydrate even after substantial rain fall.
Symptoms of Dry Patch are the appearance of straw patches on the lawn. The soil underneath these patches is completely dry. Once the problem occurs, it can be difficult to treat. With the correct care however, this condition can be easily prevented.
Regular watering is essential. Water at cooler times of the day, either early morning or late evening, to prevent evaporation and essential moisture being lost. A light sprinkling everyday is far less beneficial than a deep soaking two or three times a week. This will allow water to reach deeper into the roots of the lawn.
Prevention Is Better Than Cure
It is far better to prevent Dry Patch than treat it. A wetting agent can be applied which will aid water penetration into the soil profile, reducing surface run off in high spots and prevent puddling in low spots.
It also reduces the amount of irrigation or watering needed to maintain the health of the lawn during dry periods.
If you would like any further advice or information, please contact your local Lawnscience office