KEEP CALMED, COOL PLANTS MAINTENANCE CRUCIAL IN HEAT
HARSH El Nino weather conditions this summer are likely to put great stress on the lawn.
Direct sunlight dries out grass, and dehydration quickly leads to the deterioration of grass quality, Ross Boyle of Turf Australia says.
Boyle urges gardeners to take simple steps such as regular watering to keep lawns in good shape.
Keeping green spaces well-maintained can also keep homes cooler and combat the Urban Heat Island effect – when buildings and hard surfaces absorb the sun’s heat and send it back into the surroundings.
“Turf has a natural cooling effect; it absorbs heat from the sun and is significantly cooler than other common surfaces around the home. In fact these surfaces, such as synthetic grass, can be up to three times hotter than the natural alternative,” he says.
Boyle says summer is the harshest of season for lawns but investing a little extra time will keep them healthy and thriving into the next season. Watering
Water in the early evening so the water doesn’t evaporate too quickly. However, on extremely hot days, water according to your lawn’s needs.
Deep watering a few times a week is better than light watering often.
Use a wetting agent if your lawn struggles to retain water. Mowing
Lawns grow more rapidly in summer so mow appropriately.
Be sure to match the height of the lawn to its usage (if your lawn is used heavily, keep it a little longer).
Keeping lawn longer can help it cope with the warmer weather – taller grass is more drought tolerant, grows deeper roots and shades the ground to prevent weed seeds from germinating.
Servicing your mower and keeping the blades sharp is important; sharp blades create cleaner cuts, preventing lawn disease. Fertilising Applying fertiliser in the heat of summer can burn your lawn and create a flush of tender growth that will struggle in heat.
Team work . . . group plants with similar needs together so they all get the right amount of water and feed.
Maintain healthy lawns in summer by watering well, mowing with care, keeping mower blades sharp and not applying too much fertiliser.