Summer is here! For many Australians, Summer signifies eating fresh mangoes, beach trips with mates, fans and aircons, and a pretty thirsty lawn. A general lack of rain, combined with water restrictions can lead to backyards with dry, brown lawns. If this look bothers you, fear not, as we have a few tips that just might help with your summer lawn care, without expending the country’s water resources too much!
Okay, so this one is a little more preventative, but we thought we’d mention it anyway. If you live in one of the areas of Australia that frequently experiences drought, a drought-tolerant lawn should be a top priority when choosing new grass to plant. Some examples of drought-tolerant lawns include varieties of couch such as TifTuf, varieties of buffalo grass-like Sir Walter, and varieties of zoysia grasses like Empire, just to name a few. By growing drought-tolerant grasses, you can proactively reduce your lawn’s watering needs during long, dry summers, while hopefully also having grass that remains relatively healthy.
Some people think the best way to mow is to cut the grass really short, but in reality, this can cause a lot of damage for a lawn. Mowing a lawn too short means there is less of the blade of the leaf, which leads to the plant photosynthesising less. The process of photosynthesis lets a plant synthesize nutrients using sunlight, in turn, making the grass healthier and stronger. Cutting the grass too short can stunt this health and restrict the plant’s growth (and not in a good way!). Healthier lawns are better at surviving summer droughts, so us Aussies need to be particularly aware of ensuring our lawns are mown to an appropriate length. Cutting a lawn too short can also leave it more susceptible to bugs and weeds, so keep your lawn long (ish)!
We’ve all seen the neighbours out in the yard in the middle of the day. Not only does that seem like a much hotter, more strenuous job than watering at cooler times of the day, but it’s also not doing a lot of good for the lawn! As long as your area isn’t currently experiencing water restrictions, then watering the lawn occasionally in summer should be okay. If you feel like your lawn needs a bit of a drink, the best way to hydrate it is to water deeply in the early morning, before the sun has had a chance to really heat up the yard, evaporating all your hard work. The ideal way to give your lawn hydration is to water deeply, but less frequently (so about twice a week, maximum).
Australian summers can be harsh, and our lawns can pay the price! You can help your yard have the best chance this season by choosing a drought-tolerant turf, mowing the lawn at an appropriate length, and watering at the right time of day.
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