KEEP CALMED, COOL PLANTS MAIN­TE­NANCE CRU­CIAL IN HEAT

Mt Druitt - St Mary's Standard (East) - - HOME - Janita Singh tur­faus­tralia.com.au MT DRUITT-ST MARYS STAN­DARD, Wed­nes­day, De­cem­ber 23, 2015

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.

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