As Aussies, many of us are used to drought being a fact of life. Droughts (and the water restrictions that come along with them) can cause grass to turn brown and die, leaving your garden looking a little sad and sorry for itself. But there are some methods that can help alleviate the issues caused by drought. We’ve outlined a few tips to assist in preparing your lawn for drought conditions.
Choose the right grass for your climate. Growing grass that is tolerant to drought and requires little water to survive and thrive can be a good option for those of us living in areas where drought and water restrictions abound. If you are looking to get new grass installed in an area that frequently experiences drought conditions, it can be a good idea to ask your local professional which grasses would be best-suited to the location. Some grasses with good resistance against drought include Zoysia, TifTuf and many Couch varieties.
A well-aerated lawn will often find it easier to survive during drought. This is because compaction issues will be minimised, giving the lawn access to more oxygen and allowing for greater nutrient absorption, leading to a stronger plant. To aerate your lawn, stick an aerator or garden prong about 5cm deep into the soil, and repeat across the entire area. Make sure to do this before the drought hits, to ensure the grass is subjected to minimal stress while still reaping the benefits during the hotter months.
Setting your mower blades to cut lawn at around 6cm is beneficial as it will encourage the grass to grow deeper roots. Plants with roots that are closer to the surface require more water, as they can’t seek water from deeper areas of soil. Growing grass longer between cuts is also healthier for the lawn itself, as cutting the grass too close to the root can put it into a stress state causing many issues.
In moderation, fertiliser is great for lawns, but overzealous use or fertiliser used at the wrong times can lead to poor results. Fertilising in moderation before a drought hits can help to assist your lawn during periods of drought. This is because fertiliser can help create a healthier lawn, and healthier lawns cope better during stress. Fertilising during the summer months is not advised as the nitrogen found in fertilisers can cause additional stress.
Rainwater tanks are a great option for places that experience water restrictions. Not only can they save you money on water rates, but they also offer an alternative way to water your garden and top up the pool during water restrictions. A rainwater tank can increase the value of your home, and can be set up to replace mains water for tasks such as flushing the toilet and washing clothes. Some states and local councils even offer rebates for the installation of rainwater tanks, as an incentive to get more people using them.
Drought is something that many Australians face, but it doesn’t necessarily need to mean the end of your lawn. The above are just a few of the many steps that can be taken to help prepare your lawn for drought conditions and assist in protecting your lawn during the dryer months.
If you’re in an area prone to drought conditions, contact Jim’s Mowing on 1300 975 430 or book online.
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