Our guide to watering your lawn during summer
In order to keep a lush, healthy looking lawn there will be times when it needs watering. Just like our plants in beds, borders or containers that need water, light and nutrients, the lawn is no exception. Water keeps a lawn alive, healthy and lush and especially in the early days of a lawns growth it is really important to make sure that the lawn stays hydrated.
Watering your lawn
Here are a few tips on how to get the best out of watering your lawn:
- If you are sowing seed or laying turf then it’s essential that you keep it moist. Without moisture seeds won’t germinate and turf won’t root down into the soil.
- With seed and new turf it’s always best to use a sprinkler system and have it on early in the morning or evening to avoid evaporation.
- With new seed make sure the spray is not too fierce and if using a watering can always make sure you have the rose fitting on it to avoid displacing the seed and creating patches.
- Once the lawn has established it is far better to water thoroughly once a week rather than little and often as this encourages shallow rooting and will make it more susceptible to being scorched during the summer months.
Whilst watering it is a good idea to use a water soluble lawn feed such as Miracle-Gro® EverGreen Water Soluble Lawn Food or a liquid such as Miracle-Gro® EverGreen Fast Green Spray & Feed. These contains nitrogen which is essential for healthy green grass and can be applied at the same time as you water.
As well as watering and feeding your lawn there are other things you can do to help keep your lawn healthy:
- Aerate the lawn. Aeration is especially useful if you have clay soil as water can often run off this quickly. Aerating relieves compaction and helps the soil below take up the water.
- Scarify. Removing all the dead grass and leaves again will help the water to penetrate to where it is really needed.
- Remove weeds and moss as these all compete with the lawn for moisture. You can use a 4in1 treatment that will also feed.
- Mow regularly and keep your blades sharp. Never scalp the lawn as this will help it to dry out.
- Keep off a new lawn as much as possible until it is established and consider creating a path with stepping stones, gravel or wood for areas that are consistently used such as to the shed.
- Look after your lawn in the autumn to help it recover more strongly through a harsh winter. The stronger a lawn, the more able it will be to withstand cold and heat.
Always observe hosepipe bans in your area. Store rain water or grey water to use.
Looking after your lawn during a drought
As the weather gets warmer and less rain falls during the summer months its easy to start to panic about your lawn.
Before you reach for the hose here’s a few things to know about the lawn:
- Well-established lawns will recover once the rains return. Although the top may be brown and dry looking, the roots below the soil will still be alive and your lawn will return to normal once moisture is back.
- It’s important to know that although the grass can go dormant (stops growing) during the hotter months, this does not mean it has died and will spring back into life once the rain returns.
How you can help
For established lawns:
- Mow less often but only if it’s still putting on some growth.
- Raise the cutting blades to the highest level.
- Allow the clippings to go back onto the lawn where they will act as a protective layer (mulch).
- Avoid heavy use in one particular area.
- Avoid applying any lawn treatments including granular feeds during a dry spell.
- Water less often but more thoroughly.
- Soak really well until you can see puddles forming.
- Water early morning or in the evening to stop evaporation.
- Mow less often and at a higher cut and leave clipping on lawn.
- Try to avoid over use as much as possible.
- Apply a soluble feed when watering with a high nitrogen content.
- Avoid using any granular feeds.
- Use grey water if there is a hosepipe ban.
As well as following the advice above it’s always good to be prepared in advance. To help your lawn cope with the stresses of a summer drought there are a few things you can do to minimise damage in autumn and spring.
- Choose the right seed mix. If sowing a new lawn or overseeding then choose a mix that is more drought tolerant like Miracle-Gro Super Seed Drought Tolerant grass seed.
- Look for a more robust mix, one for general use rather than a fine/luxury mix.
- Sow new seed in autumn to give it the best chance to establish before the next summer.
- Scarify and aerate your established lawn twice a year.
- Feed your lawn in autumn for winter protection and spring and summer for green and lush growth.
Following this advice will not only help your lawn cope through a hot and dry summer but will also make the most of your lawn throughout the year.
Provide your lawn with a bit of TLC throughout the year and it will reward you with strong, healthy growth and the ability to bounce back from whatever the weather throws at it.