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Thursday 1 September 2022

The Lawncare Guide - September

When in drought…

Many a mature lawn will be suffering badly from the drought, especially the ornamental lawn comprising fine, bent grasses. Those containing fescue are likely to have more resistance but even so, once the top 10cm (4 in) of soil has dried out, the grass can stop growing and turns brown. Usually, if you have kept your lawn well maintained, it will quickly recover with the autumn rains. But the not so well maintained lawn will suffer root deterioration and become weak, allowing the weeds and moss to become established as soon as rain is frequent. 

Our summers are becoming hotter and drier and hosepipe bans mean we can’t water the lawn, so it’s going to suffer even more. It’s all the more important to maintain a care regime through each season to ensure the lawn is healthy and therefore will be more drought resistant next year. Now is the time for repair and we can begin by scarifying and aerating to get rid of thatch and open up the soil to let air get to grass roots and provide good drainage. The deeper the aeration, the more the roots will push down to take up water, creating a healthier top growth. 

Deeper spiking will be beneficial. Over-seeding to follow will fill areas made sparse by drought and it’s a good time to introduce deep-rooted, drought tolerant grass that will become well-established with autumn rain. Seriously badly, drought affected lawns may need areas re-turfing and this can be done from September through to March. Similarly, a new lawn can be laid using turves when the ground is dry and the area prepared. 

Sowing a new lawn from seed is best done on prepared ground in late September and through October. Usually come autumn we would be feeding the lawn and applying a lawn weedkiller, or using a four-in-one weed and feed. Don’t apply these on drought-affected turf, wait until next spring. 

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