With the hot and (mainly) dry weather we’ve been experiencing in the UK, many lawns are looking far from their best – and there could still be a good few weeks of summer left. So what can you do to help your grass stay greener? Essex turf supplier, Paynes Turf, have the answer!
Firstly, you need to make sure that as much moisture as possible is retained in the soil and in the plant itself. Well-aerated soil will ensure that the grass has deeper roots, and will hold a greater amount of water within them, so if you haven’t already spiked your lawn then take the opportunity to do so. While you’re at it, make sure that the lawn’s thatch – the matted part that lays on top of the soil – is under control. Raking or scarifying will help it to break down, giving your grass a better chance of competing against weeds and moss, as well as enabling water to reach its roots more easily.
The right mowing technique is also critical in maintaining a healthy sward. Don’t cut more than 25% of the length, because the grass will hold much more moisture when it has long, healthy leaves, and as far as frequency goes, once a week is plenty. Make sure you collect all the clippings, as they can cause damage to the grass underneath, and always keep your mower’s blade sharp.
Of course, if there’s little or no rain, your grass will still get thirsty and start to turn brown, so watering becomes necessary to maintain a verdant appearance. There’s no need to do this daily; a thorough soaking every three to four days should be sufficient to enable root growth – plus a soggy lawn can be more susceptible to bacterial and fungal growth in warm conditions. It’s best to water in the early morning or late evening, so that the water doesn’t simply evaporate away in the heat, and if you can, use collected rainwater for extra environmental Brownie points. Also, if you plan to spike your lawn, do this before watering, as you’ll break the surface of the soil and help the water to penetrate down to root level.
Finally, if you’re doing everything right and your lawn still suffers in the heat wave, remember that all is not lost. Grass is very resilient and will bounce back when it rains again – and if there’s one thing we know for certain about the British weather, it’s that it will rain before long!