Established Lawns - wait before you water!
Wait before you water
There is no need to water established lawns. It is not only wasteful and unnecessary, it also causes many of the common lawn problems.
Watering your established lawn should be avoided in most situations. Here's why:
- Water is a precious and limited resource.
- Watering increases the chance of disease on your lawn. Most lawn diseases thrive in warm, damp conditions.
- Watering encourages the spread of the weed grass, annual meadow grass. Lawns that are allowed to dry out have much less of this unsightly weed.
- Watering encourages shallow rooting, which in turn means the lawn is more at risk in dry conditions. So, once you start watering, you can't stop.
- Damp soils are easily damaged by compaction during heavy use, e.g. during family barbeques and games on the lawn.
- Essentially, grass is a natural survivor; it may go brown during a drought but in most cases it will recover when it rains.
Maintaining a lawn during hot, dry weather
- Increase mowing height to 35-40 mm - this creates deeper roots and more shade and shelter from higher temperatures
- Try not to concentrate wear in one place - move barbecues and toys like slides and swings around
- No need to feed as the grass will not be growing during a drought
- Avoid blanket weedkillers as these may damage the grass - use a spot weedkiller if necessary
- Keep mower blades sharp as blunt blades bruise the grass leaf and they lose more water
- Apply a light dressing of compost to help keep moisture in the soil and protect the grass from higher temperatures
- Scarify your lawn once a year to remove matted and dead growth from the lawn - if allowed to build up, this acts as a barrier to rainfall.