During the Australian summer our temperatures are known to soar. This can cause our lawns to suffer from the heat, and it is important to be prepared in order to maintain their lush green appearance. Regardless of the variety of your lawn, some of the hottest days can cause heat shock, but we have a few tips to get you through. Learn how to look after your lawn this summer:
Mowing Your Lawn
The frequency in which you mow your lawn in summer will depend on the type of grass you have, and how healthy it is. Some types of lawn are dormant in summer and will not need to be mowed very often. However, those healthy, summer growing varieties which are well watered will grow plenty of green leaf (and probably plenty of weeds).
As a general rule, only mow a third of the length of the grass. Mowing your lawn too short or too often can cause it to thin out and make it susceptible to the heat, weeds and bugs. Letting the grass grow too long can also cause problems because the bottom layer may suffer damage from the heat. Always use a sharp blade on your mower and try to mow when the weather cools down, either early morning or later in the day. This will help prevent any freshly mowed tips from burning. It may be tempting to mow after the summer rain, however it is recommended you wait until the lawn is dry as it will be easier to cut and give you a more even finish.
Fertilising Your Lawn
When your lawn is well fertilised it will be healthier and less susceptible to any pests or diseases. However, you should never fertilise lawn which is dormant, so check your variety before proceeding. We recommend you thoroughly water your lawn a week before feeding. Fertilising your lawn regularly will keep it looking green, but be aware as this will also mean you will need to increase the frequency of mowing and watering. Fertilise your lawn on cooler days, early mornings or evenings as it must be immediately watered into the soil and off the grass to prevent burning.
Watering Your Lawn
Consistent watering is the key to maintaining a lush, green lawn throughout the summer months and this may be easier with an automatic reticulation system. It is important to establish a healthy deep root system, and newly planted lawns will need careful watering while they are in the early stages of growth. Depending on the soil type, moisture will be absorbed and retained at different rates, so getting the watering right can be difficult and sometimes a case of trial and error.
You should check for signs of drought and heat stress on a regular basis, remembering you will need more water after days of intense heat, drought, low humidity or high dry winds. It is recommended that you water the lawn deeply twice a week, in the early morning or evening unless there has been a downpour.
There are certain soil types which become very dry and water repellent in summer, causing water to run off the soil instead of holding it. Wetting agents coat the soil with a special substance which attracts water and breaks down the soil coating.
Weeding Your Lawn
Unfortunately, in summer weeds can be a nuisance, especially the drought resistant dandelion and other varieties which have long root systems. Dig the weeds out by hand in the cooler evenings and avoid using chemical weed sprays in high temperatures. If you use a weed killer, always follow the instructions on the label. Keeping on top of your weeds and regularly pulling them out will help keep them at bay.
Be Water Wise
Conserving water can be crucial in Australia during the summer months, with some councils imposing restrictions in times of drought. You may face government restrictions to water only on certain days at certain times. If this is the case, deep watering will mean you only need to water your lawns twice a week. Alternatively, you can keep an eye on your lawn to see when it starts to wilt. This is a signal that it’s time to give a heavier watering.
The way you care for your lawn in summer will depend on where you are located and the variety you have chosen. If you would like assistance with landscaping in Perth please contact us.