If your lawn is anything like mine, it will need extra loving right now to repair the damage caused during our recent very hot and dry weather weather. The fix is fairly simple, albeit a little time consuming, but it will be worth the effort.
You know that when your grass looks good, it has an uplifting effect on all the other plants in your garden.
In the last few weeks your lawn will have been starved of water, and as its top growth shrivels up, so does the amount of useful root system underground.
Have you ever wondered why it is that grass can be burnt brown, and yet the weeds within it remain relatively green? Yes, you have guessed it – these survivors have longer roots and can go hunting further for vital moisture.
The trick of getting your lawn back to being the green of spring is to water extremely well and with great care.
Take your hose pipe, and turn the end nozzle to a point where the water comes out at a decent spurt. Hold it in your hand with your arm extended downwards, so that the water penetrates with some attitude.
My tried and tested system is to trace out about one metre square in the lawn, and then I slowly track the water from side to side within my ‘square’ until I have completely hydrated the whole area. Then I move onto my next ‘square’ What I am actually doing is pushing water right through the mat of lawn turf so that grass roots will continue to extend downwards.
A garden sprinkler is better than nothing, but IMHO not a lot better as it won’t be able to penetrate as well. As a result, the roots will remain in the top layer of soil and when the sun bursts out of the sky once more, the grass is vulnerable to scortching, and we are then back to brown grass.
What is needed here is reasonable, methodical and targeted hand-watering regime, and I think that my system does the job nicely.
If you are tempted to feed your lawn, then it is much better to use a liquid fertilizer rather spreading a granular product around the grass as this may well end up causing more damage if we get another heatwave. A good garden centre will be able to offer a range of soluble products, but do read the instructions carefully.
When I was hunting for something online the other day, I came across a product that actually dyed grass green while it was recovering from a summer scortch. As one of its main ingredients was green food colouring, I thought that this would be an interesting way to claim a full set of green fingers to herald one’s own horticultural prowess – perhaps not!
© 2014 Valerie McBride-Munro