Summer Lawn Care Guide
Summer Lawn Care Guide 2020
With some rain finally arriving after a very dry start to the season, and most of us having more time than usual on our hands due to the circumstances thrown at us this year, we thought we'd put together a handy guide on how to manage and maintain your lawn throughout the warmer months.
Areas of newly laid turf or patches which have recently been sown will need extra watering to help the lawn endure dry spells during the height of summer – be mindful not to over water these areas however as this will result in a poor root structure. By refraining from over watering during the first few weeks after laying new turf you will encourage the grass roots to grow down deeper towards the groundwater which will in turn result in a strong sward that is well knitted. Ideally turf should have been laid in the spring but where turf has been laid later it is vital to ensure that it is kept well hydrated.
Regular mowing is the key to a healthy lawn – the temptation might be to take a liberal approach to cutting, reducing the lawn down as far as your mower allows, however this can leave the lawn vulnerable to drought and scorching. The ideal approach is to mow little and often as this will encourage a healthy sward and should hopefully mitigate against your lawn drying out. Always keep in mind the "One Third Rule" when mowing: this rule says that you should never remove more than one-third of the leaf blade during any one lawn mowing. The reasoning behind this is that grass, like virtually all plants, manufactures its own energy through photosynthesis. This process utilizes sunlight, which is absorbed through the leaf of the plant, converting carbon dioxide from the air into sugars. If more than one-third of the leaf blade is removed during a single mowing, there is suddenly less surface area remaining on the leaf to absorb sunlight – this inhibits the rate of photosynthesis. This will mean that the plant is less able to produce food for itself, resulting in a weaker plant with shallower roots. This leaves the grass more susceptible to drought and disease while increasing the need to depend on artificial lawn feed. Thin, patchy lawns are often the result of infrequent mowing or removing too much of the grass when cut.
During the peak growth periods you may find that you need to lightly mow your lawn twice a week so as to avoid taking off more than one third of the grass blade. However as summer starts to really heat up there may be relatively little growth and therefore you need not mow so regularly – even so, you should avoid mowing less frequently than every two weeks as many weed species will take advantage of the reduced mowing and will grow profusely.
If you want a lighter weight machine to help tackle your lawn easily, check our the new range of Honda Cordless tools! If you buy any Mower Kit from us before 30/09/2020 we'll enter you into a draw to win the rest of the cordless tools to match, worth over £1400!
While sun loungers, parasols and paddling pools may have become a stable feature in your garden by midsummer – do remember to move such items around regularly in order to let the grass underneath recover and prevent yellow patches. Inspect any yellow patches on the lawn carefully; if they contain pinkish-red strands, then you may have red-thread in the lawn. Red-thread is a fungal disease, common on light soils after heavy rain, where the nitrogen has been washed out of the soil. A nitrogen-rich fertiliser should remedy the situation after the fact however this can be mitigated against early on by mowing with a mulching mower – for more info on how and why you should mulch check out our handy guide to mulching! Mulching may also allay the growth of moss however in drastic cases you may wish to apply a combined fertiliser and moss killer when feeding the lawn.
Try to avoid using lawn weed-killers in late summer - these will be more effective in the cooler, damper autumn weather. Dig over any areas due to be grassed over later in the year. Leave them for a few weeks to allow weeds to re-emerge, and then spray with a weed-killer or hoe off to ensure thorough weed clearance before seeding or laying turf in the autumn.
Browning of the lawn is very common during late summer. Don’t water the grass unless absolutely necessary. It will green up when the autumn rains arrive. Browning can be partially prevented next year by ensuring that the lawn is well scarified, aerated and drained later in the autumn.
We have a wide selection of scarifiers on offer for domestic and professional gardens – why not check them out?
If you do have to water the lawn to maintain a green sward, water when the soil becomes dry, but before the grass turns yellow or brown. If the ground is very hard, aerate it by spiking with a garden fork before watering, to aid water penetration. As autumn approaches you can begin to reduce the frequency and intensity of your mowing, leaving a longer sward so as to keep your lawn healthy for the colder months ahead.
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