We're having a fantastic start to summer this year with rainfall low and temperatures above the norm. The medium term forecast is for more of the same but is the lawn is starting to lose it's health and colour? We're yet to reach July... what is it can we do?
Consider the height of cut (HOC)
Many want bowling green turf, but unless your patch has the inputs to match, it's not going to happen. We'd recommend that most lawns are cut between 20-35mm - around an inch to an inch and a half in old money. In a dry spell, consider raising the blades a peg or two. We wouldn't expect any other plant to survive being repeatedly cut down to 20mm with scarce water for weeks, so we shouldn't expect that of the grass plant either. The grass plant is made up of two thirds water, much like ourselves - try to resist mowing quite as much of these moisture reserves out if they're not going to be replenished.
To collect or not to collect?
In normal circumstances, we'd always collect clippings when mowing. This helps with regards reducing thatch production, reducing the spread of annual meadow grass (AMG) seed heads and seeding weeds - and leaves the lawn more presentable of course. However, if you're mowing the lawn 2-3 times per week and have little AMG, consider not boxing grass clippings. That two thirds water as above has now just been recycled naturally. The tiny pieces of grass leaf will help protect the base of the plant and the soil surface from drying out quite as quickly. You'd also be returning nutrient to the soil at the same time.
Will fertilising the lawn help?
This depends on the product to be used. Quick release DIY fertilisers which require watering in should be avoided or applied in the evening and well watered in. Dependent on the percentage of quick release nitrogen and iron present, some products will scorch. We use professional coated slow release fertilisers with a non-scorch formulation, which we have blended to our and your lawns needs. A source of slow release food will without a doubt help your lawn massively through a tough summer period. Maybe drop us a line?
Liquid fertilisers. Food for thought...
Water the lawn!
Here's the obvious one. If your lawn is struggling for water, provide some. It's not everyone's cup of tea, but with what feels like increasingly unpredictable weather in the last few years, infrequent but deep watering is the way to go. Shallow, lazy watering will encourage shallow root growth. Consider watering the lawn 1-2 times per week, but water deeply ideally in the evenings away from the heat of the day. If you're conscious of your water usage then doing so in the evenings and when the lawn is uncut (that little bit longer remember) will allow the grass plants to trap the vast majority of what you apply. There is more to irrigation than meets the eye!