Heat waves are just part and parcel of living in Queensland, but when everyone starts getting overheated and cranky, there’s something you don’t want to be stressing about; your lawn.
Essentially, take it easy and stay in the air-con or the pool…
Don’t cut the grass too short – being too short will reduce the grass’ ability to produce energy for growth. When cut at the right height it will develop a stronger root system as well as providing protection for the soil, from the sun. If the lawn is at an okay height before the heat wave hits just leave it and don’t mow until the weather cools. Spend the time relaxed and have a cool drink instead. If you do need to mow the lawn during the heat wave – never do so in the heat of the day; that’s just silly and dangerous for your health. Never remove more than one third of the grass height at any one time. The lawn will be kept cooler when less plant tissue is removed.
Now, this is a controversial one… limit the water intake for your lawn. Lawns are better managed on the dry side rather than wet. If over watered the roots will be deprived of oxygen and can become more susceptible to disease. So, keep an eye on the lawn – if it appears to be in heat distress, wilting and yellowing then water. Don’t water just in case. Stick to the ‘water deeply but less frequently’ rule of thumb. Don’t water in the heat of the day – you’ll just waste water as it is lost to evaporation. Don’t water at night – you’ll leave your lawn open to disease. Pop outside first thing in the morning before it gets too hot and give the lawn a water if it truly needs it. Remember, it only ever needs around 2.5cms per week.
Continue to relax in the cool as you should never fertilise, aerate or dethatch your lawn during a heat wave. Fertilisers encourage growth and that growth will take up even more energy further stressing the lawn. Same with the aeration and dethatching – these are fairly rigorous, aggressive and stressful events for your lawn to endure. Put it off until the weather has cooled down and your lawn is better placed to handle the process.
For more lawn care advice and help just contact the team at Daleys Turf – we’re here to support you for the life of your lawn.