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Thursday 2 July 2020

The Lawncare Guide - July

For the avoidance of drought

It’s sorrowful. You’ve worked hard on the lawn with a firm regime of aerating, scarifying, cutting and collecting or mulching with the cutting deck or mower at precisely the right height – going by the book. You’ve treated for weeds and moss and given the grass good feed and fertiliser.

You have overseeded, top dressed and obsessed, eradicated pests and trained the dogs to wee elsewhere. Then along come the drought conditions and the bare patches begin to appear.  Hey ho, out with the hose but is it as simple as a quick spray? The grass looks nice and wet and do we detect, it’s looking greener already? Job done. No! You need the water to get thoroughly down to the roots, and they need air as well. A good spiking/aerating will help the water and oxygen penetrate.

Then, once or twice a week a really thorough soaking is called for, but how long is really thorough? An old trick is to use a sprinkler attachment for the hose and place an open jam jar under the spray. Let it collect 13mm/half an inch of water and then it is job done on an established lawn. If you have laid or sown new grass it will need plenty of watering in the first summer.

Now, on the other hand, if there’s been plenty of rainfall you will be mowing regularly. Don’t get caught out by a period of drought between rainfall. Raise the cutting height to leave the grass longer and better protected or use a mulching deck to return the cuttings to the lawn. A light application of fertiliser will be of benefit, preferably a liquid feed rather than granular if watering it in is an issue e.g. if there is a hosepipe ban. If that’s the case and you can’t water per se, those dried-out patches may have to be lived with until the autumn rains when the grass will recover and green-up.

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