Lawn care during a Drought

Occasionally lawns can be affected by particularly dry periods, resulting in them having to be watered manually.

Failure to do so could lead to the turf turning brown and stopping growing.

Other than the fact that the lawn looks unsightly, this is not as serious as it might seem.

Lawns are fairly drought resistant compared with other plants, and the grass will regrow once the rains return.

As mentioned under the Lawn maintenance (see related links column) if certain preventative measures have been taken earlier in the year, the lawn will normally recover when the wetter seasons arrive.

Having said that, following some do's and don'ts during the dry spell can help e.g.

Cut the lawn less often than normal, and raise the height of lawnmower blades when you do.

Don't apply autumn feed and weed treatment until the following spring.

If rain is forecast apply a proprietary autumn lawn fertiliser, which will be high in phosphorous and potassium and low in nitrogen to encourage strong rooting, otherwise delay the application.

Providing a hose ban is not in place, water the lawn by means of a sprinkler system.

Avoid using weedkiller during the dry spell, wait till the following spring when the grass and weeds are growing vigorously again before applying it.

If moss becomes a problem treat this in spring with a proprietary moss killer.

Try and keep off the lawn during the dry spell to reduce compaction.

When the dry spell is over rake the lawn lightly, heavy raking or scarification can be harmful in most cases.

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