It’s too hot across much of the world at the moment, and not only are people, pets and wildlife suffering, but our lawns are too.
It might sound trivial, but if you take pride in your yard, staring at a lawn of dry, yellow hay is no thanks for all the hard work you put into keeping your garden lush and green. When the heat is getting to you, and your local area has likely put water saving rules in place, how can you save your lawn from the worst of the sun’s fury?
#1 Mow with care
Lawn care experts recommend mowing your lawn frequently, but not too short. Different types of grass prefer different heights, so if you know what kind of grass you have, do a little research to find out what’s best for your lawn; but the usual advice is to set your mower on a high setting so that the grass remains 2-3 inches long. Avoid removing more than a third of your grass height at any one time, and be sure to use sharp mower blades.
#2 Water deeply, not too often, and at set times
Over-watering is a common mistake which can cause fungus and other problems for your lawn. When you do water your lawn, do it deeply enough to wet all of the roots and encourage them to extend further into the soil: half an inch, or maybe an inch of water should do it. Do not do this daily: once you’ve watered it once, leave it until the grass looks dry before watering again.
The time of day you water is also important. In a heatwave the authorities in your area may impose restrictions about the times when you’re allowed to run sprinklers, but even if that’s not the case, between 6am and 10am is the best time to water your lawn. If you water in a hotter part of the day, the water will evaporate before the roots of your lawn feel the benefit; watering at night is also discouraged because of the risk of disease. A wifi sprinkler system is a great way to water at the most efficient time of day without throwing out your own routine.
#3 Repurpose water
During a heatwave we all use more water than usual, so try to be creative and sustainable about how you use it: water from your children’s paddling pool can easily be repurposed for your garden.
#4 Feed your lawn with its own clippings!
If it’s so hot that your lawn isn’t growing, you might be tempted to apply some fertilizer: resist! There’s nothing you can do to make your lawn grow if it’s too stressed out, and fertilizing it will only make it use up more energy. Instead, use a mulch mower when you cut the grass, so that the clippings stay on the lawn instead of being bagged up. The clippings will provide a less intense, natural fertilization process.
Intense heat can be exhausting for both you and your lawn, but follow these tips and you should both make it to the fall in one piece.