Summer can easily be the death of your lawn, however, it is meant to be the absolute best time of year to enjoy it. Too often I see people watering their lawn in the hot midday sun and I have a total facepalm moment. Said gardener loves their lawn enough to be out in the heat of the day tending to their grass but unknowingly they are doing the wrong thing. So, to lend a helping hand, here are 10 of the best tips to ensure your lawn remains green and lush throughout summer.
1. Know when to water
The most beneficial time to water your lawn is in the morning. This allows the soil to absorb the water effectively (any later and the sun will cause it to evaporate) and the grass to go through photosynthesis. Because the lawn requires sunshine for photosynthesis to take place, if you water at night, the lawn can’t effectively make use of the water it is receiving. Watering at night also creates a damp environment where lawn disease can set in. Watering in the middle of a hot day often means most of the water will evaporate before it can be absorbed. The usually cooler air and calmer winds of the morning period gives the soil ample opportunity to soak up the water, helping to keep your lawn hydrated throughout the day.
2. Get your lawn in training
To build a strong, healthy lawn it is important not to water it too frequently. It’s all about training your lawn to develop a deep root system that will see it through the summer months without the need to switch on a sprinkler every day. To get the roots of your lawn searching for water at a deeper level, you'll need to give it a long soak two to three times per week, rather than a short daily soak that will create a shallow root system.
3. Avoid creating run off
If water is starting to puddle or run off it’s time to turn off or move the sprinkler to another spot. If it started to run off before you could give it a good soak then turn the sprinkler off for 15-20 minutes to allow the water to soak in before turning it back on again. Hoselink’s Oscillating Sprinkler can be beneficial in this scenario as the constant movement gives the soil a brief break in which to absorb the water before more is sprayed on. This type of sprinkler is also fully adjustable, allowing it to reach right across the lawn or concentrate on one small space.
4. Water the lawn, not the path
The green stuff is where the water needs to land, but you knew that anyway right?! How often do you see someone’s sprinkler busy watering everything but the lawn? Make sure you’re not one of those people, get yourself an adjustable sprinkler suitable for your lawn shape and size. It will ensure that you’re not wasting water, money or time waiting for the path to grow!
5. Lawns need air to breathe
Lawns need oxygen as well as water so it’s important to keep your lawn aerated. Aeration involves perforating the soil at intervals to alleviate compaction, allowing water, air and nutrients to penetrate deep below the surface. The easiest and cheapest method is to push a garden fork into the ground at 15cm intervals over the entire lawn, although for large areas it may be easier to hire a machine to do the hard work so you don’t have to. An aerated lawn will also be better at absorbing water rather than letting it run off.
6. Feed your lawn
All plants eventually deplete the nutrients in the soil and a lawn more so than others as it’s the one plant we tend to cut consistently, taking with it each blade's personal store of nutrients. A simple way to feed your lawn is with a fertiliser spray formula. Hoselink has a Click-on Adapter Set to make it easy to complete this task with pre-packaged bottles and your Hoselink-fitted hose, or alternatively, our Fertiliser Spray Mixer Bottle allows you to dilute your fertiliser with water straight from your hose using only Hoselink’s reliable no-burst fittings. You’ll notice many fertilisers specify a particular time of year to use them, so be sure to read the bottle before selecting the right one for a summer feed.
7. Mow at the right height
Raise the cutting height of your lawnmower during summer to keep your lawn looking at its best. The grass won’t dry out as quickly and the roots will be better protected by the longer blades. We recommend mowing your lawn every two to three weeks in summer to keep it looking tidy, though the need can vary if there’s been a lot of rain.
8. Be flexible with your watering
Don’t water your garden when it’s raining. Fairly obvious, but an easy mistake to make if you have an automatic watering system or timer set up. Turn the water off on days it is due to rain and be ready to water again if the rain doesn’t deliver enough saturation.
Hoselink recommends that controlling weeds ‘early and often’ is better than spraying the whole lawn with weed killer. This can be done by pulling them out manually or better still, use a Garden Weeder, Fork or Hand Scythe Weeder. If there are too many weeds for this method then try ‘painting’ weed killer on the affected area; perhaps doing just one section of lawn each day. More weed removal methods can be found in our blog post: ‘Top Tips for a Weed-free Backyard’.
10. Never water with hot water
It’s not a good idea for the health of your hose to leave water lying in it. Water that does get left can get quite warm, even hot enough to scold the blades of grass. Always ensure you empty your hose after each use, but if you forget, make sure you flush the hot water away before commencing watering.
So, there you have it, no rocket science and no secrets, just simple straightforward tips to keep your lawn looking great throughout the summer months. Try taking before and after pictures of your lawn so that you can look back at the difference these tips have made. If you have any tips of your own please feel free to share them in the comments.